Skip to main content

Full text of "The Orgins Of Provincial Autonomy"

See other formats


FIRST PUBLISHED IK 



Thesis approved for the Degree of Doctor of Letters 
in the University of Allahabad, 1936. 



PrfafttZ by Gopi Lai Diksbit at the Dikshit Press, Allahabad. 



PREFACE 

The Government of India Act 1935 envisaged 
the establishment of autonomous provinces as 
constituent units of an Indian Federation. Provincial 
autonomy is its basic idea, as the contemplated 
Federation presumes the existence of provinces 
independent of outside control, and responsible for 
their government within defined limits. It is the 
object of the present work to sketch the progress 
of the emancipation of the provinces from central 
control 

I have endeavoured to analyse the steps leading 
to, and the many factors responsible for, the evolution 
of provincial autonomy. The book forms a history 
of the relations of Provincial Governments with 
the Central Government in British India from the 
time of their complete subordination to the 
Government of India till 1919 when they attained 
a position of relative though limited independence. 
Provincial autonomy is the product of a long 
period of constitutional development extending from 
1860 to 1919. Its foundations had been laid soon 
after the Mutiny when centralisation was found to 
be both inconvenient and prejudicial to administrative 
efficiency. Since then the Provincial Governments 
have gradually achieved freedom from superior 
control in legislative, financial and administrative 
spheres. The constitutional Reforms of 1919 gave 
statutory recognition to this administrative practice 



li PREFACE 

and partially introduced some elements of autonomy 
in the provincial field. The preliminary stage of 
provincial autonomy was thus reached in 1919. 

This book is based on the records of the 
Indian governments published and unpublished, 
preserved in the India Office, London, and the 
Imperial Record Department in India, as well as on 
the non-official sources, speeches and writings of the 
Indian political leaders, proceedings of the Indian 
National Congress and other political associations of 
an earlier period. 

I am greatly indebted to the Right Honourable 
Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, p. c., K. c. s. I., LL. D., 
for his constant guidance and encouragement. I am 
grateful to my teacher Prof. H. H. Dodwell of the 
School of Oriental Studies, London, to Sir William 
Marris, ex- Governor of the United Provinces, 
and Dr. Sachidanand Sinha, Vice-Chancellor, Patna 
University, who read the manuscript and offered their 
valuable criticism. I have been greatly benefited by 
their suggestions. The book owes much to their 
sympathy and guidance. I am also grateful to my 
friend Dr. Banarsi Prasad Saksena whose advice 
and help were always available to me, and who kindly 
compiled the Index. My thanks are also due to Mr. 
Otevile, Keeper of the Records, Indian Office, 
London, for affording me all possible facilities for 
my work. 



10 March 1941. } BISHESHWAR PRASAD. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. CENTRALISATION BEFORE 1860 1 

II. THE TRANSITION 1860-1870 43 

III. EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECEN- 

TRALISATION 1860-1870 98 

IV. DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 

1870-1887 134 

V. THE SETBACK 1888-1906 195 
VI. DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION 

AND AFTER 259 

VII. ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 298 

VIII. POSITION UNDER THE GOVERN- 
MENT OF INDIA ACT OF 1919 339 

IX. CONCLUSION 369 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 377 

INDEX 393 



CHAPTER t 

CENTRALISATION BEFORE 1860 

The progress of the East India Company as a 

great political power in the eighteenth century revealed 

the need for co-ordination of its 

Statutory posi- military resources and unity of 
tion before 1833. ... , ^ . . , / . 

political control throughout its 

territories in India. The existence of three mutually 
independent Presidency Governments, each with its 
separate army and a parochial political policy, was an 
anomaly. The Regulating Act attempted to remedy 
this state of affairs by empowering the Governor 
General of Fort William to superintend and control 
the government and management of the Presidencies 
of Madras and Bombay, "so far and in so much as that 
itjshall not be lawful" for the Presidency Governments 
to declare war or make peace, or negotiate any treaty 
with any Indian Prince without the consent of the 
Governor General and Council. 1 A central authority, 
for strictly limited purposes, was thus created for the 
territories under the rule of the East India Company. 
But it was a vain attempt to subordinate the other 
two governments to that of Bengal, owing to the 
ambiguity of the law. It resulted in conflicts with the 
Presidency Governments during the administration of 
Warren Hastings. The first definite step, however, 

Regulating Act, 1773, Clause 9, 



2 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

was taken in 1784 when the India Act authorised the 
Governor General to control the Presidents in Council 
in " all such points as relate to any transactions with 
country powers, war, peace or to the application of 
the revenues or forces of such Presidencies , in time of 
war ", and also attached a penalty to the disobedience 
of his orders. 1 The importance and usefulness of the 
central controlling, coordinating authority being 
realised, the next charter strengthened it effectively. 

The East India Company Act of 1793, while 
vesting the " whole civil and military government " 
of the Presidencies of Fort St. George and Bombay 
respectively in the Governor and Council thereof, 
empowered the Governor General and Council to 
" superintend, control and direct the several govern- 
ments and Presidencies of Fort St. George and 
Bombay ", not only in political and military matters 
but also in " the collection or application of the 

revenues or the forces employed at any of such 

Presidencies or the civil and military govern- 
ments of the said Presidencies "* To avoid any 

ambiguity, the next clause enjoined upon the 
subordinate Presidencies the duty of obeying " such 
orders and directions of the said Governor General in 
Council in all cases whatever, except only where they 
shall have received positive orders " to the contrary 
from the Court of Directors. 8 Further the Supreme 

1 Pitt's India Act 1784, sections 31, 32, 35 and 36. 

2 Charter Act 1793, clauses 24 and 40. 

3 Charter Act 1793, clause 41. Clause 43 emphasised 
again the restriction on the powers of the Governor in 
Council respecting declaration of war or negotiation of peace. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 3 

Government was to be kept continuously informed of 
the proceedings and acts of the two Local Govern- 
ments. 1 These powers of supervision over the other 
Governments, were legally complete. But in practice 
they did not in any great measure diminish the discretion 
of the Local Governments in the administration of 
the territories under their charge. The difficulties of 
communication, the peculiarities of local circumstances 
and the regular correspondence between the Presidency 
Governments and the Court of Directors, made them 
virtually independent administrations with separate 
laws and regulations, exclusive civil and military 
establishments, and divergent "methods of taxation 
and financial procedure" often determined by local 
peculiarities of land tenure. 

When the circumstances were such, the Parliament 
of the United Kingdom decided to open the gates of 

India to all subjects of the King. 

Position under This decision required unity 

the Act of 1833. o f administrative control and 

uniformity of the laws and judicial 
systems in all parts of British India. 2 Consequently, in 
securing these ends, the Act of 1833 carried the process 
of centralisation one step further. The original idea 
seems to have been to establish a strong unified central 
administration by vesting " the whole civil and military 
Government " in the Governor General of India 



1 Charter Act 1793 clause 44. 

2 Despatch from the Court of Directors to Bengal 
No. 44 (Public), dated 10th December 1834, paras 9 
and 11, 



4 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

in Council. 1 The Bill, as introduced in the House of 
Commons and reported after the Committee was 
intended to make the central authority a real active 
controlling body. Under this Bill the Presidency 
Governments would have dwindled into the position 
of mere subordinate executive agents of the Govern- 
ment of India. If centralisation of authority was the 
main purpose, the Bill was well planned to achieve 
that end. But it was whittled down and the final Act 
which emerged out of the legislature did not express 
the position so unequivocally. 

By Section 39 of the Act the "superintendence, 
direction and control of the whole civil and military 
government of all the territories and revenues" was 
vested in the Governor General of India in Council. 2 
He was to be the sole authority for making laws for 
all persons and Courts of Justice. The subordinate 
governments were deprived of all powers of legislation. 9 
Further, the Governor General was to be the final 
financial authority in India in so far as no Presidency 
Government could create any new office, or grant any 
salary, gratuity or allowance without his previous 
sanction. 4 The superintending and controlling 
authority of the Government of India was reaffirmed 
in a subsequent section of the Act and the Presidency 
Governments were bound, it was declared, to obey the 

1 Bill, The Government of India 1833, submitted to 
Committee. (Parliamentary Paper 1833) Sections 38, 55, 
58, and 64. 

3 The Charter Act 1833, Section 39 (P. Mukerji ; Indian 
Constitutional Documents, pp. 43-48) 

' Act 1833, Sections 43 and 59. * Ibid, Section 59, 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 5 

orders of the Governor General in Council in all cases 
whatsoever, 1 while the provisions of the Act of 1793 
enjoining the Local Governments to keep the Supreme 
Government informed of their proceedings, were 
repeated. 2 

In interpretation of the Act, the Court of Directors 
addressed an important despatch to the Government 
of India in which general instructions were given for 
the guidance of the Indian governments. This 
despatch outlines the new functions of the Governor 
General in Council. 8 Its underlying note is the 
desire to strengthen the Supreme Government "in 
consequence of the free admission of Europeans into 
the interior of the country". 4 Hence new legislative 
powers were conferred on it and, ?at the same time, 
"the legislative powers hitherto possessed by the 
subordinate governments are to be modified and 
abridged", so that all the functions of legislation be 
collected and united "in one central and metropolitan 
government". 5 The legislative supremacy of the 
Central Government was the fundamental point of the 
new Act. Discussing further the changed character 
of the Government of India, the Directors wrote, "the 
powers here conveyed (Section 39) when the words are 
interpreted in all their latitude include the whole powers 
of Government", and also "the whole civil and military 
government of India is in your hands, and for what is 

1 Act 1833, Section 65. * Ibid, Section 68. 

8 Despatch from the Court of Directors to Bengal, 
No. 44 (Public), 10th December 1834. (Letters from Court 
of Directors, 1834, Imperial Records Office) 

* Ibid, para 10. * Ibid, para 11 



ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

good or evil in the administration of it, the honour or 
dishonour will redound upon you 1 ". But with respect 
to the powers other than legislative, the Directors 
desired "a correct line" to be drawn between the 
functions which should belong to the "general govern- 
ment" and those "which properly belong to the local 
and subordinate government' 9 . A minute interference 
on the part of the Government of India with that 
portion of the business which was to be left in the 
hands of the Local Government would not be 
desirable. Vigilance and preparedness to interpose if 
occasion demanded it, was all that was necessary. 
The Court of Directors themselves were unable to 
draw the line of discrimination between the functions 
of the Local and the Central Government, and 
left it entirely to the goodwill of the Government of 
India. 3 Finally, they did not deprive the two older 
provincial governments of their right of direct 
correspondence with themselves, though the Govern- 
ment of India would immediately receive copies of 
all the important letters. 8 

Judging from the provisions of the Act and the 
lengthy commentary of the Directors, it may be held 
that the chief purpose at this time was to create a 
supreme law-making power, as well as to emphasise 
the supervisory and controlling authority of the 
Supreme Government. The Government of India was 
intended to be a real general government which would 
make laws for all provinces and, while permitting 



1 Despatch 10 December 1834, para 78, 

2 Ibid, paras 80*84. 
8 Ibid, para 85. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE I860 7 

the Presidency Governments a legitimate exercise 
of their executive authority, would supervise and 
regulate their work. That it should concentrate all 
the threads of executive and financial administration 
in its own hands, does not seem to have been the 
intention of the Act, though a few years' experience 
proved its effect to be otherwise. That was ultimately 
so because of the concentration of all legislative activity 
and the financial needs of the Central Government 
during a period of constant wars. 

The three Presidency Governments were retained, 
and, in addition, a fourth charge, the Governorship 
of Agra, was to be instituted. The status of the two 
divisions of the Presidency of Fort William was not 
like that of the two older ones- A more minute 
control and a closer superintendence by the Govern- 
ment of India was permitted in their case as the details 
of their administration would be brought more closely 
under the eye of the Supreme Government owing to its 
proximity to them. 1 But the Governments of Madras 
and Bombay were "to retain their executive capacities", 
and have command over separate army systems. 
In political matters too, on the representation 
of the Government of Bombay 1 , the subordinate 



1 Despatch ( Political Department ) No. 18 of 27 
December 1833 (Political Department, Letters from Court 
of Directors, Vol. 37, Imperial Record Office), para 12 ; 

Also Despatch of 10 December 1834, paras 87-95. 

3 Original Consultations, Political, 21 November 1834, 
No. 14. Minutes of Governor of Bombay and other 
Councillors dated 16 and 30 September and 4 October 
1834. Also Letter from Madras, Political Consultations, 
19 September 1834, No. 2. 



10 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Governor General in Council, it was never designed 
to prohibit the additions, without previous reference, 
which may be found absolutely requisite to the 
establishment of offices already existing." 1 Over 
other items of provincial expenditure it did not as yet 
exercise any minute control. 

1 Quoted in Letter to Court of Directors, No. 12, 
20 November 1834, para 22. 

Also letter to Bombay, 16 June, 1834 (Ootacamund 
Proceedings, Political, No. 8 of date. 

Bombay Government had asked sanction for the 
following items of proposed expenditure : 

(1) The repair of a large tank at an expense of 

Rs. 1000. 

(2) The disbursement of Rs. 1643 for the comple- 

tion of Bridge at Bassein. 

(3) The completion of a dam at an expense of 

Rs. 3000. 

(4) Construction of a Mamlatadar's Kutchery. 
(6) Rewards to two persons etc. 

The Government of India replied : " That in the 
opinion of the Governor General in Council the charges 
specified (above) might properly have been incurred by the 
Bombay Government without any previous reference for 
the sanction of the Government of India. 

"That Section 59 of the Act 3 and 4 Will. IV. cap 

85, does not prohibit the Local Governments from 

sanctioning without reference any addition which may be 
deemed necessary to the establishment of offices already 
existing or the disbursement of the ordinary contin- 
gent expenses including the customary rewards for services 
rendered or the usual charges on account of Tank repairs 
and other works, the neglect of which would prove 
detrimental to the public interests. 

"In the judgment of the Governor General in Council 
no more was intended by the Legislature in framing the 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 11 

But the position changed rapidly. Many factors 

arising out of the implications of the new Act and 

the gradually altering conditions 

Growth of O f i n( ii a n administration led to 
Centralisation, . 

d ue to: _ the stiffening of control by the 

Government of India. It considered 
Cl general finance ", " Political Resolution," Army and 
Public Instruction as coming under its special 
jurisdiction. 1 It was forced to keep a close control 
on finance as the supreme financial authority in India. 
And as finance is the main-spring of administrative 
machinery, almost all matters of government were 
brought by that means under its direction. The 
Supreme Government jealously guarded its function 
of determining the general principles of government 
and permitted no deviation from them. 

Meanwhile by the Act of 1835, the creation of 
the Presidency of Agra was suspended, and a 
Lieutenant Governor was appointed to that province 
who was to be immediately responsible to the 
Governor General in Council. The Government of 
Bengal was carried on by a Deputy Governor, who 
was a member of the Supreme Council. Thus, these 
two Local Governments were in a greater measure 

above provision than that no substantive office in addition 
to those already existing should be created by the Govern- 
ments and no extra personal emoluments should be 
conferred by them beyond what is authorized by the 
established custom of the service without affording to the 
Supreme Government an opportunity of judging as to the 
necessity of the proposed new office and the propriety of 
the extra disbursement". 

1 Public Proceedings, Government of Iqdia, 20 May 1835. 



12 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

subordinate to the Supreme Government unlike the 
Presidency Governments. They had no independent 
legal powers, but merely exercised authority delegated 
to them by the Supreme Government. The presence 
of these two Local Governments, inferior in status to 
the others, was bound insidiously to affect the position 
of the older Presidencies in pursuit of a natural desire 
for uniformity. Development henceforth was in these 
directions. 

The financial authority of the Government of 

India was exercised, during this period, in controlling 

the expenses on establishments, 

(i) Exercise of pensions and allowances, and public 
financial author i- . 

t works. At the same time, measures 

seriously affecting the public 
revenues also evoked its interposition. In all these 
matters control by the Supreme Government became 
gradually more rigid. 

Subordinate governments were not competent 
by law to create any new office or grant gratuity or 
allowance to any person without the previous assent 
of the Supreme Government, which, in its turn, had 
to submit all such proposals for the sanction or 
confirmation of the Court of Directors. 1 The 
Government of India was by that means afforded the 
opportunity of judging the necessity and propriety of 
the proposals, before reporting them to the final 
sanctioning authority. In 1834 it had been held that 
only new creations, and departures, from customary 

1 Letter from Court of Directors (Political) No. 18, 
27 December 1833, para 15, 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 13 

services were to be governed by this provision. 1 But 
in 1836 this view was modified and the prohibition 
extended to cover " any increase to existing 
establishments" without the previous sanction of the 
Government of India. 2 A concession, nevertheless, 
was made in as much that "it should not be necessary 
to make separate reference" on f< every trifling 
augmentation of establishment, or of increase to the 
allowance of existing incumbents 1 ', and that a 
tabular statement "showing the increase considered 
indispensable during the month", should be submitted 
at the end of it. 8 This concession was withdrawn 
in 1843, and it was rendered imperative on the Local 
Governments "to refer for sanction before granting 
any, the smallest increase that may be proposed. 114 
Gratuities and pensions, except those specifically 
provided for by the rules, were granted by the orders 
of the Court of Directors in each case, and all such 
references were to be made through the Supreme 
Government. The Government of Bombay, never- 
theless, had been permitted to approach the Court 
11 without the intervention of the Government of 
India". 6 

The general practice however remained for the 
Local Governments to submit all proposals regarding 
pensions or allowances, for the sanction of the 

1 Letter from the Government of India to 
No. 8, dated 16 June 1834, para 4 (Ootacomand Prc ..,. 

a Government of India to Bombay, Revenue Dept 
No. 54, dated 13 June, 1836. 8 Ibid. 

4 Government of India Resolution, 8 December 1843, 

5 Letter to Bombay (General) 10 May 1837, 



14 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Government of India. The number of such references 
is astounding. Proposals for the creation of new 
offices or additions to existing public establishments 
included all sorts of offices from the lowest to the 
highest, from a peon on Rs. 3 a month, to a high 
official on Rs. 2000. Additions to the salary of the 
existing public servants, increase of staff to the existing 
grades, or establishment of new services, all required 
reference to the Supreme Government for sanction. 
In striking contrast to the practice of the other 
provincial governments, the Presidency of Bombay 
however seems to have made a practice of referring 
such matters to the Court of Directors and not to the 
Government of India, 

Similarly, with regard to Public Works. In 
1830 the Directors had ordered that no public work, 
the estimated cost of which exceeded Rs. 10,000, 
could be sanctioned by the Presidency Governments 
on their own authority, but required sanction of the 
Court. 1 The practice was for the three Presidency 
Governments to sanction schemes for public works, 
within that amount, without reference to the Court 
of Directors. There was no immediate change in 
this practice after 1833. The Government of India 
reminded the Government of Bombay in 1837 of 
the existence of this limitation on the latter's 
power.* In 1839 the Directors extended the limit 
for the Governor General in Council to Rs. 50,000 

1 Despatch of the Court of Directors, 31 March 1830. 
8 Letter from Government of India to Bombay, dated 
27 November 1837. 



CENTkALISATION BEFORE I860 15 

and for the Governments of Bombay and Madras 
also, but in their case subject to " the approval of 
the Supreme Government being previously obtained 
in each case 1 ". The Bombay Government considered 
itself free under these instructions to sanction on its 
own authority expenditure on schemes of public works 
costing up to Rs. 10,000, but made reference to 
the Supreme Government if the estimate exceeded 
Rs. 10,000 and did not exceed Rs. 50,000, and direct 
to the Court if it exceeded Rs. 50,000. The Govern- 
ment of India under this arrangement would review 
schemes of public works only if the estimate lay 
within these two figures 2 . We do not know definitely 
the practice of the other Local Governments, but 
it seems that until 1846, the procedure of the Bombay 
Government of making direct reference to the Court of 
Directors on questions of salaries or public works 
without approaching the Government of India, was 
singular. The latter Government objected to that 
course in 1846 s and, despite protest by the Government 

1 Despatch of the Court of Directors to Bombay No. 1, 
30 January, 1839. 

The interpretation placed by the Supreme Government 
on the above is expressed in a letter to Bombay 
dated 4 May 1844 (Marine) as follows : 
"The Court by those orders extended to the 
Government of Madras and Bombay the power of 
expending on certain works to the extent of 
Rs. 50,000 without the Court's previous sanction 
conditionally on the approval of the Supreme 
Government being previously obtained in each case". 
3 Minute by the Governor of Bombay, 16 October 1846, 
Para 13. 

8 Letter to Government of Bombay, No. 1272, dated 
11 June 1846. (Political Proceedings, 26 December 1846). 



16 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

of Bombay, issued a rule that " all questions, 
involving an increase to fixed salaries or establish- 
ments, or respecting the undertaking of new works 
or other operations involving a demand upon the 
resources of the State should be, in the first instance, 
submitted for the consideration of the Supreme 
Government l> . 1 

The two northern provinces, not having direct 
access to the Court of Directors, were more amenable 
to financial control by the Government of India, and 
all proposals involving expense, whether relating to 
individuals or to public works, were submitted for 
its sanction. But the two southern Presidencies, 
particularly Bombay, strengthened by their privilege 
of direct correspondence with the authorities in 
England, were not so docile. Questions respecting 
salaries, pensions, the creation of new establishments 
in almost all the departments of administration, and 
public works of varying magnitude, formed subject of 
direct reference to the Court of Directors. A 
memorandum drawn up by the Government of 
Bombay in 1846 gives a list of such references till that 
date, from that Presidency. 2 The practice of Bombay 

In reply, the Government of Bombay forwarded 
a Memorandum showing the cases in which direct 
reference was made to the Court, and the Minutes 
of the Governor and Councillors describing the 
practice of that Government. (Letter from 
Bombay, 17 October 1846.) 
1 Letter to Bombay, Foreign Dept. No. 2326, dated 

7th Nov. 1846, para 3. 

' Letter from Bombay to Government of India, dated 
17th October, 1846. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE 1860 17 

so far as creation of new offices and increase of pay 
were concerned was clearly illegal though the Local 
Government no doubt regarded it as justified by 
custom and convenience. While matters affecting 
emoluments of individuals were explicitly placed 
by law within the jurisdiction of the Supreme 
Government, the same was not true about expenditure 
on public works. However, owing to the need for 
economy in public expenditure, the Government of 
India now asserted its legal right of general control 
over the revenues of India, and included all charges, 
public works and others, as coming within its 
jurisdiction. In fact, its orders attempted to make 
the exercise of financial authority of the Governor 
General in Council uniform in all the provinces. 
This may be regarded as the first conscious move 
made by the Supreme Government in the direction 
of centralisation. 

It was generally recognised that the Supreme 
Government must possess complete control over all the 
finances of the country because it was responsible for 
the solvency of the Empire. Constant wars during the 
last twenty years of the Company's rule accentuated the 
need for this control. Deficits were a recurring feature, 
so much so that out of the last twenty-five, eighteen 
were deficit years. 1 In these circumstances the 
Government of India was driven to scrutinise, as 
closely as possible, the details of provincial expenditure. 
Under the rule of Hardinge and Dalhousie 
supervision became closer. Further, the financial 

1 Bannerji : Provincial Finance in India, p. 17, 
F. 3 



20 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

cultivated. It pointed out that considering the 
importance of the principle and the indefinite 
alienation of the government revenue, a reference to 
itself was necessary. The Government of India was 
opposed to the principle underlying the measure, and 
as uniformity of practice was desirable in such matters 
between one province and another, it ordered 
withdrawal of the notices. 1 Moreover, general rules 
dealing with civil and military establishments and 
administration were laid down from time to time by 
the "Home Government 1 ' or the Government of 
India, demanding constant references by the Local 
Governments, and these very often brought the whole 
local administration under review. Memorials also 
and appeals from public bodies or individuals against 
certain actions of the Local Governments, called for 
the interference of the Governor General in Council. 
But the most frequent occasions of interference arose 
when the Local Governments submitted for sanction 
any increase of charge on establishments. Every such 
proposal was scrutinised not only from the financial 
but also from the administrative point of view* 
Comparisons were made with similar charges in other 
provinces and suggestions, carrying almost the 
authority of orders, were made for adopting a system 
which had been found to be successful elsewhere. 
The key departments like Criminal Justice, 
Police and Land Revenue were generally the subject 
of close attention. No Local Government could be 



1 Letter to Bombay Government, dated 30th Novem* 
her, 1836, and again letter dated 19th April, 1837, 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE 1860 21 

allowed, without rebuke, to fall below a high standard 
of efficiency, and as it was desirable that uniform 
progress be maintained, the stragglers were whipped 
on to greater activity. Thus the need of administra- 
tive efficiency and uniformity of system led to a 
gradually increasing control on the part of the 
Supreme Government, and tended to the growth of 
centralisation. 

It should not, however, be presumed that the 

Presidency Governments either willingly submitted to 

the domination of the Government of 

Powers of the India or surren dered any of their 

Local Govern- __ 

men ts. powers. On the contrary, they 

resented interference by the latter 
and appealed, often with success, to the authorities in 
England, against the decisions of the Governor General 
in Council. The Lieutenant Governorships and 
the minor Administrations were amenable to control. 
Their administration was more closely scrutinised by 
the Government of India, and moulded according to 
its views. But in the two Presidencies the system 
remained isolated and retained all its peculiar 
characteristics. Moreover, the very constitution of the 
supreme authority precluded it from having any great 
interference with their internal government. 1 
Burdened with the direct administration of Bengal, the 
biggest and the most important province, till 1853,* 

1 For a long period no member of the Governor General's 
Council was drawn from Bombay or Madras services. 

2 By the Act of 1833 the Governor General of India was 
also the Governor of Bengal. The executive Government 
of Bengal was vested by Section 56 in a Governor and 



22 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

and with the settlement of the newly acquired 
provinces of the Punjab, Nagpur, Mysore, British 
Burma and Coorg, the Government of India had 
not the leisure to devote itself closely to the affairs 
of the Presidencies. 

As has been stated earlier, the Act of 18.33 
declared that the executive government of each 
Presidency would be administered by a Governor in 
Council. He could not make laws or sanction new 
expenditure. But, otherwise, the whole administration, 
civil and military, was assigned to him. In the 
case of Lieutenant Governorships the Act of 1854 
empowered the Governor General to "declare and 
limit the extent" of their authority. 1 But no such 
definition seems to have ever been attempted The 
Local Governments were competent to carry on the 

three Councillors. The Governor General was also autho- 
rised to appoint a Deputy Governor from the members of 
the Council (Section 69) when the exigencies of public 
business required it. It was usual for the Governor General 
to appoint a Deputy Governor during his absence from 
Calcutta but sometimes such a Deputy used to function 
even when the Governor General was present. Till 1853, 
thus, the Supreme Council was the Council for Bengal as 
well. Not before 1843 was the Secretariat for Bengal 
separated (Minute by Mr. Grey. Lt. Governor of Bengal, 
13 March 1868). But the Governor General and Council 
had generally to conduct the administration of that province, 
as Lord Dalhousie had done. Marshman : Bengal as it is 
(1845) in Calcutta Review, Vol. HI, page 169 ; 

Campbell : Modern India, p 224, Strachey : India, p. 
420 ; Sir Charles Wood's Speech in the House of Commons 
on 3 June 1853. Bengal Despatch to the Government of 
India dated 28 April 1854 ; Buckland : Bengal under the 
Lieutenant Governors, Vol. I, Introduction pp. xi-xx. 

1 The Government of India Act 1854. Section 4. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 23 

administration of their provinces, subject to the 
control and superintendence of the Government of 
India. Besides this general statutory authority, their 
powers were defined from time to time, by the 
Indian legislature in respect of particular acts of 
administration. This legal sanction comprehended 
diverse subjects, such as the organisation of civil and 
criminal courts, the determination of the jurisdiction of 
judicial authorities, establishment and discipline ot 
police forces, the arrangement for the collection of 
customs duties, the control over municipalities, the 
appointment of executive officers and their dismissal, 
and matters relating to salt duty, inland customs, 
harbours, the control of European vagrants, jails, 
excise etc., etc. 1 It was always convenient for the 
Supreme Government to delegate, by law, the 
execution of the details of administration to the Local 
Governments. The functions which these Governments 
thus exercised were very comprehensive and included 
almost everything which affected the happiness of 
the people or the stability of the empire. The two 
Presidency Governments made appointments to all 
offices, both in the civil and military departments, 
carried out revenue settlements, in short, regulated 

1 Eg. Acts VII of 1835, XXIII of 1837, XXIX of 1845, 
IX of 1850 relating to Courts and their jurisdiction; Acts XX 
of 1835, XXIV of 1837, XXVIII of 1852, XIII of 1856, and 
XXIV of 1859 etc, relating to Police ; Acts XVI of 1837 t 
I of 1838, 1 and II of 1852 and XXIX of 1857 relating to 
Customs ; Acts XXVIII of 1836, XXIV of 1840, XXII of 
1841 and XXVI of 1850 relating to Municipalities ; Act III 
of 1852 for excise ; Act VII of 1857 relating to executive 
officers ; Acts VIII of 1856 and IV of 1*39 for Jails etc. eta 



24 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the entire executive machinery of their territories. 
Other Local Governments, too, were responsible for 
the general administration of their provinces. The 
collection of revenue and its disbursement on the 
authorised public services was their function. In this 
they had in fact to follow the rules and regulations 
made for their conduct by the Government of India 
or the Directors, and to submit to the general 
superintendence of the Governor General in Council. 

In the earlier pages it has been described how 
the controlling power of the Government of India in 
matters financial, legislative and political, led 
gradually to centralisation. At the same time it has 
been stated that the Local Governments were 
responsible for the administration of their provinces 
and were regulating the entire governmental 
machinery. The extent of this superior control and 
the degree in which it affected the working of the 
provincial governments may now be discussed. 

Legislative authority had been placed exclusively 
in the hands of the Governor General and his 

Council. The Act of 1833 attempted 
The position of _ . 

, r to differentiate legislative and 

the Local Govern- . e . , 

executive functions and for this 
ments vis a vis , , , 

the Central P ur P OSe added a member to the 
Government : (1) Governor General's Council who 
Legislation. ^ ac ^ no share in the executive 

government. 1 The next Act carried 
the process further, and established a virtual 
legislative council composed of members of the 

1 The Charter Act of 1833, Section 40. 



CiEhtRALlSATiON J3EFORB i860 25 

Supreme Council, one representative each from the 
Local Governments and two judges of the Supreme 
Court, Calcutta. 1 All legislation, whether local in 
character or relating to all provinces in general, was 
centred in this body. The Local Governments sent 
their proposals to the Government of India or after 
1854 instructed their official representatives to 
introduce those measures direct into the Legislative 
Council. But the Government of India always 
scrutinised such proposals closely and if unsuitable, 
smothered them either in its executive or legislative 
capacity. Such revision was generally administrative 
and was based on the controlling and superintending 
authority of the Supreme Government. The Local 
Governments resented this interference and especially 
after 1854, maintained that they had a right to place 
their proposals before the Legislative Council 
through their representatives without any intervention 
whatsoever of the Government of India. An 
expression of the feelings of the Local Government 
was made by Sir Charles Trevelyan, the Governor 
of Madras, in his dispute with the Government of 
India on the question of Income Tax. a He had 
asked the local representative to place on the 
table of the Council the views of the Government 
of Madras on the proposed Taxation Bill. But this 
procedure was counter-manded by the Government 
of India. On that the Government of Madras wrote 

1 The Charter Act of 1853, Section 22. 

2 Correspondence relating to Financial Measures 
between the Government of India and Madras Government, 
1860. (P.P. No. 296). 

V. 4 



26 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

to the Secretary of State, "We cannot suppose 
it to have been intended that this Government 
should also be entirely deprived of all influence 
over the legislation of the territories committed to its 
charge, and that measures affecting in the most vital 
manner the safety and welfare of those territories, 
should be taken in the Legislature without our having 
a voice in the matter. 1 ' 1 Further, the Governor 
wrote, "The Legislative Council of India is a free 
deliberative assembly. Its constitution and forms 
have been carefully arranged on that principle. It 
stands in the place of the local legislature which this 
Presidency formerly had; the difference being that 
instead of taking a direct part in legislation, as 
this Government formerly did, we act through a 
representative". 2 The Government of India never 
recognised the position taken up by the Local 
Government and considered the Legislative Council 
essentially an adjunct of the Supreme Government 
to which members from Local Governments were 
added in order to supply local information. These 
members, it contended, could not be used as agents 
of their governments for conducting discussions 
between the Supreme and the Local Governments. 3 

1 Despatch to the Secretary of State from Madras 
No. 34 (Public) of 19 April 1860, para 7. Correspondence 
on Financial Measures I860. p. 175. 

1 Minute by the Governor of Madras, dated 1 May, 
i860. Ibid p. 184. 

1 The Government of India's Despatch to the Secretary 
of State, 4th May I860. Ibid. pp. 206-208. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 27 

The Secretary of State also held the same view that 
those members were not delegates. 1 

The position taken by the Governor of Madras 
was not and perhaps never believed by him to be 
tenable. He thought that the Legislative Council 
ought to be like the Imperial Diet in Germany 
in which were represented the different Presidency 
Governments, and that laws passed by the Council 
should be capable of veto as far as that Presidency 
was concerned by a mere statement of the Local 
Government that they were not applicable to its 
territories. This view, if admitted, would have 
established a loose confederacy in India, each unit 
being governed by an irresponsible bureaucracy. It 
was opposed to the intention of the Parliament and 
definitely against the interest of the British Empire 
in India. The Parliament had concentrated all powers 
of legislation in the Central Government with the 
purpose of strengthening it and securing uniformity of 
laws, compatible with local differences, in all parts 
of British India. It was fortunate that the Secretary 
of State, by his ruling, maintained the integrity of 
the Central Government. 

Laws were made, during this period, by the 
Supreme Government for all provinces, local 
peculiarities being provided for by means of Acts 
having limited application. Owing to wide 
differences in the customs and manners of the people, 
as well as in the evolution of administrative 
machinery, it was not possible to have uniformity 



1 Despatch from the Secretary of State to Madras, 
No. 1 (Legislative) 24 July 1860, 



28 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

even in laws regulating civil and criminal courts or 
police organisation. The Presidency Governments 
insisted on retaining their own particular systems. 
Much of the work which fell to the Indian legislature 
was thus of a local character. It was proper that 
such local legislation should be conducted in the 
provinces themselves where local experience and 
public opinion could be brought to bear on it. The 
Presidency Governments were clamouring for a return 
of their legislative functions, and howsoever advan- 
tageous this centralisation of legislative power might 
have been, it was essential now that purely local 
matters should be assigned to local legislatures, 

In finance too centralisation was the chief note. 
It has been mentioned before that the Government of 

India gradually asserted its financial 
(ii) Finance. supremacy and regulated all revenues 

and expenditure of the whole Empire 
ift India. Every addition to expenditure howsoever 
inconsiderable required its previous sanction. All 
taxation, its imposition and remission, was controlled 
by it. But as it was not possible 10 have uniform 
taxation in all parts of India, many local or provincial 
imposts were allowed to continue, Even in respect 
of salt duty or customs duty no equality of incidence 
was practicable, but the Government of India 
interfered from time to time to fix the salt duty in 
Madras or to lay down general rules for the levy of 
customs duty* 1 Purely local taxes, like the town duties, 

1 Letter to Madras Government NO, JQ7 dated 16th 
November. 1836. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE 1860 29 

were also regulated occasionally by the Supreme 
Government. But latitude was oftener given to the 
Local Government to retain or abolish them. In the 
collection of land-revenue and its assessment the 
Local Governments of Madras and Bombay had a 
free hand. The northern governments could not 
secure the same autonomy, because of the closer 
proximity and fuller knowledge of the Government of 
India, as well as the experimental nature of settlements 
in the newly acquired territories. The Supreme 
Government generally laid down the principles of 
assessment and left the details to the Local Government 
except in the Punjab where final settlements had 
to be sanctioned by the Governor General in 
Council. 1 

The revenues of British India formed one purse 
out of which expenditure on definite objects was 
sanctioned by the Government of India. Its distribution 
was haphazard in the beginning, every item being 
sanctioned as it arose. No regular budget estimates 
were framed or sanctioned. Only in the matter of 
public works an estimate was required of all works 
and proposed expenditure on them since the time 
of Lord Dalhousie.* The system was productive of 
much waste and no close supervision of the Local 
Government expenditure could be possible. Also it 
led to bickerings and clashes almost every day. 
Mr. Wilson reformed this state of affairs by framing 



1 Note by Mr. Muir. Public Proceedings, 7 December 
1867. 

8 Letter from the Court of Directors, No. 32 (Public) 
24 May 1853, 



30 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

his first Budget in I860, which was to regulate all 
expenditure for the year. Till the Mutiny the control 
by the Government of India over financial transactions 
of the subordinate Presidencies could not be thorough 
in practice. The tendency to keep a tight hold on 
their expenditure and thus to superintend effectively 
all departments of administration grew largely owing 
to post-Mutiny financial derangement. It was then 
resented and habitually defied by the Government of 
Bombay which on many occasions spent huge sums 
of money on projects not sanctioned previously by 
the Government of India. 1 Sir Charles Trevelyan, 
Governor of Madras, protested against the imposition 
of income-tax in that Presidency and claimed a 
separate treatment for the southern province 
because of the peculiar position of the Presidency 
Governments. 2 Nevertheless the Government of India 
was now fully trenched in its position as the supreme 
financial authority in India and the Local Governments 
had to depend upon it for every pie they spent. 

Political and military affairs were wholly 
conducted by the Government of India. All diplomatic 

officers were in direct contact with it, 
(iii) Political, and policy towards states within or 

without the frontiers of India was 
determined by it, though its execution might be left 

1 Secretary of State's Despatch (Finance) No. 231 and 
to Bombay No. 89 dated 29 September 1864. See Note by 
Lt. Col. Dickens, Public Proceedings. 7 December 1867. 

2 Letter from Madras to Government of India No. 774 
(Revenue) |11 June 1859. (Correspondence pn Financial 
Measures, I860.) 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 3t 

to some Local Government as its agency. The 
Governments of Bombay and Madras had each a 
separate army. They had also supervision over some 
political charges The Punjab Government was 
entrusted with the management of the frontier tribes 
and the relations with Afghanistan. But in all this 
it was merely acting as executive agent of the 
Government of India. 

The Local Governments, besides, carried on the 
internal administration of the country under the eyes 

of the Supreme Government. But, 

(iv) General naturally in this the superintendence 

administration, of the latter was incomplete. In 

the earlier years due to lack of swift 
communication all executive government was left to 
the discretion of the local authorities. Then, it was 
never considered desirable for the Governor General 
in Council to exercise any control greater than the 
determination of the policy of the state or laying 
down principles of Government. Its one main 
function was to review the acts of the Local 
Governments, to point out an irregularity with the 
request that it be not repeated. Regular transmission 
of the Proceedings of the Local Governments and 
their close scrutiny gave it the means of exercising an 
ex-post facto control over them* 

The records suggest that the Government of 
India seems to have tried to enforce the due 
observance of the general principles of administration 
laid down by itself or by the authorities in England, 
though the details were left to the discretion of the 



32 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Local Governments. We find it emphasising the 
religious aloofness of the Government in its 
correspondence with the Government of Madras on 
the question of the administration of religious 
endowments. 1 The Government of Bombay was 
rebuked for the largeness of its Covenanted Civil 
Service and the policy of admitting Indians to public 
services was commended for adoption. 1 Such 
general questions as compulsory vaccination. 8 levy of 
export and import duties for municipal funds, 4 or 
emigration of labour to Colonies, 5 were determined 
by the Supreme Government. The structure of the 
civil and criminal courts, the organisation of police 
forces or the outline of general revenue administration 
met its consideration, and the model of Bengal 
administration was put forth before the Presidency 
Governments. But the two Governments successfully 
managed to retain their local peculiarities till a late 
date. In the northern provinces, entire administrative 

1 Letter to Madras Government, dated 7th December 
1836. 

8 Letter to Bombay Government (General Dept.), 
1 June 1836 (Cal Records, Vol. 275) 

3 Letter to Bombay Government, 18 October 1837. 
(Vol. 275). 

* Letter to Bombay Government, No. 95, 1 November 
1837 (Vol. 275). 

5 Letter to Bombay Government, 28 November 1838 
(Vol. 275) ; also letter to Madras Government, 1 February 
1837 (Vol. 264). Volumes 264 and 275 of the Calcutta 
Records Miscellaneous contain many letters addressed to 
the Governments of Bombay and Madras respecting details 
of administration in the departments of education, customs, 
post office, finance etc. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 33 

reorganisation was effected under the close 
supervision of the Governor General in Council. It 
was premature to desire the universal establishment 
of one administrative system, as the different parts 
had not reached a similar stage of development. 
Nevertheless, the tendency of the Government of 
India was definitely in this direction. The labours 
of the Law Commissioners were not yet over, and 
the codes of substantive law had not yet been 
enacted. In the absence of universal codes of 
civil and criminal law, administration of justice 
followed the Presidential Regulations framed at 
an earlier time. After the Mutiny the codification 
was in full swing. The enactment of the Indian 
Penal Code, the framing of the Codes of Civil and 
Criminal Procedure, the report of the Police 
Commissioners (1859-60) and the effort to reform the 
administration of jails and excise, were but the 
preliminary attempts at centralism and uniformity. 
However in 1860 the two Presidency Governments 
had their separate Civil Services, separate laws for 
police or courts, and conducted the details of their 
administration without minute interference from the 
Government of India except in matters financial. 
Centralisation had begun but was not yet complete. 

The greatest vigilance was exercised in the 

Public Works Department. Brick and mortar had 

a peculiar charm for the local 

(v) Public Governors, and ever increasing 

Works demands were made on public 
revenues for buildings, roads, tanks 
and canals. The purse of the Government of India 
F. 5 



34 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

was not long enough to meet all the pressing calls 
of the clamorous but irresponsible Local Governments, 
and so in the interest of economy and systematic 
prosecution of public works, greater control became 
essential. The Governors of Bombay and Madras 
could, heretofore, sanction works estimated to cost 
Rs. 10,000 each, beyond which previous sanction of 
the Governor General in Council was required. This 
led very often to extravagance. They had sometimes 
given sanction to the projects in a most " irregular 
and unsystematic manner" without reference to the 
general wants of the country. 1 Lord Dalhousie found 
that "from time to time projects of public works, 
some of them involving vast expenditure are, in point 
of fact, sent up to the Governor General by the 
Governments of Bombay and Madras, so crude, 
ill-considered and unbusinesslike that there remains 
no room for doubting the absolute necessity of 
maintaining an active control over their expenditure 
in the hands of the supreme authority". * To check 
this state of affairs, the Directors recommended that 
the Local Governments should frame annually a 
scheme of works to be undertaken during the coming 
year and submit it for the "final sanction and approval" 
of the Government of India. By this they did not 
intend "to deprive the two Governments of any of the 
power they have hitherto possessed of authorising 
expenditure on such works". Their object was to 

1 Letter from Court of Directors to Government of 
India, No. 32, dated 24th May, 1853. 

* Minute of Lord Dalhousie dated 30th June, 1854 
(Public Proceedings, 11 August 1854). 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 35 

secure a proper application of money to expenditure on 
public works. By this means, they thought of relieving 
the Supreme Government "from that unnecessary 
distraction of attention and waste of time which arise 
from a number of separate projects of a kindred nature 
being brought under your consideration at different 
periods". 1 Lord Dalhousie put it into practice by 
organising a separate department of public works in 
each province, linked to and controlled by the Public 
Works Department with the Government of India, 
At the same time, he made a rule that an estimate of 
the public works to be executed within the year should 
be submitted to the Supreme Government, containing 
a statement of (1) ordinary repairs ; (2) extra-ordinary 
repairs ; (3) new works and (4) expenditure in current 
year on works already sanctioned. No sanction was 
required every year for items 1 and 4, but they must 
be shown in the estimate. The Local Governments 
had power to sanction emergent works, the statement 
of circumstances "being immediately submitted for 
the information and approval of the Government 
of India." The money limit of the sanctioning 
authority of the Governments of Bombay and Madras 
was not disturbed. But all projects estimated to 
cost more than that sum had also to be submitted 
separately for the formal sanction of the Governor 
General in Council.* This arrangement continued 

1 Director's Despach No. 32 dated 24th May, 1853 
(Public Proceedings, 11 August, 1854). 

3 See Public Proceedings of the Government of India 
dated llth August, 1854; Lee Warner: Life of the 
Marquiss of Dalhousie. Vol. II, pp, 188-190. 



36 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMV 

for a long time. The Local Governments were not 
satisfied with it. They desired that "the admitted 
amount of annual expenditure" within a certain limit 
"should be placed at the unfettered and exclusive 
disposal of the Local Government." The 
requirement of previous sanction for each new 
major work and the sanction for the annual estimate 
of all works had the appearance of serious checks on 
their authority. 

So far as it can be ascertained, the 
Government of India's policy aimed at little 

interference with the administration 
(VI> ^J c ucation> f the Local Governments except 

in the departments of political and 
financial importance. In services like education or 
municipal administration the Government of India, 
from time to time, laid down general principles for 
the guidance of the Local Governments and left 
the details to be worked out by them. The 
Government of India Resolution of 1839 and the 
Secretary of State's Despatches of 1854 and 1859 
on education determined the broad lines to be 
followed by the subordinate governments. They 
were at liberty to develop the system best suited to 
their circumstances. Of course, the Government 
of India, occasionally brought to the notice of the 
Local Governments the experience acquired in any 
other province, but did not press for its adoption, 
The grant-in-aid rules were similar in all the 
provinces and had been sanctioned by the Governor 
General in Council. Beyond the financial limitations, 
there was no other check on the Local Governments 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE 1&60 3? 

in the Department of Education. So also with 
Municipalities, the Registration Department and 
other minor services. 

The Governments of Bombay and Madras 
chafed under the restrictions imposed upon their 
autonomy. They desired full 
Views of the authority in all matters relating to 
Lr t LIher; the internal administration, subject 
on the position only to the direct control by the 
under the Act of Court of Directors or later by the 
Uo 3 n^tr SUg fm: Secretary of State. They held that 
provernent. the necessity of reference to Calcutta 

caused delay and was futile as it 
transferred decision to a distant authority. 1 The 
feeling both in Madras and Bombay was that the 
Supreme Government was too much dominated by 
local prejudices arising from its association with 
Bengal, and that it could not give a fair consideration 
to the requirements of the two southern Presidencies 2 . 
Their apprehensions were not quite unfounded for 
the Supreme Council, till 1853, had no member 
drawn from Bombay and only one from Madras 3 . 
They complained of the deprivation of legislative 
powers and stated that their projects of law did not 
meet with fair consideration from the Council of 
India 4 . Also they grumbled at the Supreme 

l Evidence of J. P. Wiiloughby, 1852-53. Q. 1476. 

* For instance, the inspired article "Observations 
on the Madras and Bengal Governments and their relative 
positions 11 in Calcutta Review No. XXXII. Evidence of 
J. C. Marshman, 1853. Q. 4387. 

8 Col. Morison from Madras. 

4 H. T. Prinscp: The Indian Question in 1853. P, 96, 



38 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Government's desire to effect general uniformity of 
administrative practice. They were occasionally 
asked to conform their system to that of Bengal, and 
this they resented. Their greatest objection was 
against the control by the Government of India over 
their expenditure, and they desired to be free from the 
limitations on the creation of new offices, grant of 
salary and pensions. They felt that they were 
unable to make any improvement in their territories 
owing to the control by the Supreme Government 
over public works expenditure. Charge of partiality 
to northern provinces and of depriving the Presidency 
of Madras of its share of the revenues collected 
there, was often made against the Government of 
India. Witness after witness at the Parliamentary 
enquiry of 1852 and 1853 dilated upon these points, 
and pleaded for greater liberty to the two Presidency 
Governments, declaring in exaggerated language 
that the Act of 1833 had placed them in complete 
dependence upon a Government without adequate 
machinery for its new charge 1 . 

The remedies which were proposed at this time 
may be placed in two categories, firstly, those which 
recommended that the Supreme Government should 
be made a real, effective central authority and, 
secondly, those which desired to invest the Local 
Governments with larger autonomy. The advocates 
of centralisation were prepared to abolish the full 
Governments of Madras and Bombay with Governor 

1 See evidence of Lord Elphinstone, J. P. Willoughby, 
John Sullivan etc. 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE 1860 3d 

and Council, and substitute Lieutenant Governorships 
instead. They opposed the maintenance of separate 
armies and civil services and would deprive the 
Governments of Madras and Bombay of the 
privilege of direct correspondence with the "Home 
Government". As against these, some wished 
to return to the practice of the earlier period. 
They suggested that the Governments of Madras 
and Bombay, possessed as they were of their armies 
and civil services, should be allowed full liberty of 
action in their internal administration subject to 
control, not by the Government of India, but by the 
authorities in England. 1 In foreign and political 
affairs they were willing to leave superintendence to 
the Governor General and Council. Some would 
maintain the general control by the Government of 
India over financial policy as well, but would confide 
greater liberty to the Local Governments in the 
management of the details.* Specially in public 
works expenditure they would leave "the distribution 
of the sum and the selection of works" to the Local 
Government after a lump sum for their needs had 
been fixed by the Supreme Government. 8 So also 
in other departments. The proposal by Sir Charles 
Trevelyan may be taken as a fair mean between the 



1 Lord Elphinstone. Q. 2212. Also Lord Ellen borough. 
Q. 2281. John Sullivan. Q. 4663,4670. Also Mr. Bright. 
Speeches 1858. 

* Lord Elphins tone's evidence. Q. 2107 and 2190. 

8 Report of the Committee appointed to report on 
the Public Works organisation in the Presidency of 
Madras, quoted by Lord Dalhousie in bis Minute dated 30 
June 1854. 



40 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the two extremes. He wrote: "According to the 
constitution of British India, there is one Supreme 
General Government without any local charge, and 
several co-ordinate Presidencies... etc. The true 
function of the Supreme Government is to regulate 
those things which are of common interest, such as 
diplomacy, Post Office, Customs, etc., to supervise 
the proceedings of all the Local Governments, so that 
however much they may differ in form, they may be 
guided by the same general principles ; and above all, 
to maintain substantially one financial administration 
for the whole of British India". To bring about this 
result he proposed that the Supreme Government 
should be "placed in a central position apart from 
any particular Presidency" and should be composed 
"of officers selected from every part of India." 
He sought the immediate remedy in finance ; 
"as governments have a tendency to be shaped by 
this most powerful element." He recommended 
the adoption of the Budget system with permission to 
the Local Governments to spend within the estimate, 
but "not to exceed any of the principal heads 
of expenditure section in their respective estimates 
without the previous sanction of the Supreme 
Government" ; and to be free to apply the "surplus 
upon one item to supply the deficiencies upon others 
under the same general head of expenditure". 1 
Moderate opinion desired change only to the extent 
of giving liberty in the details of administration, 



1 Minute by Sir Charles Trevelyan, dated 13 July 
1859. (Correspondence on Financial Measures I860, p. 71.) 



CENTRALISATION BEFORE i860 4l 

including finance, without prejudicing the general 
supervisory character of the Supreme Government. 
It must be admitted that the system which had 
developed under the Act of 1833 was productive of 
friction between the local and the central authorities, 
a circumstance injurious to the interests of public 
service. The gradual absorption of all financial 
control by the Government of India depriving the 
Local Governments of discretion to spend even a 
pie without its sanction, the ineffective yet vexatious 
interference with the administration of the 
Presidencies, resulting from its financial authority, and 
the effort to control all public works administration 
were bound to bring it into conflict with the 
Governments of Madras and Bombay which had all the 
paraphernalia of semi-independent governments and 
had the means of appealing to the highest authority 
over the head of the Supreme Government. It was 
a compromise between federalism and centralism, 
and compromises are not always successful. As 
long as the Governments in India were content with 
elementary duties of defence and collection of 
revenues, that system could work, but when after 
the Mutiny the administration tried " to imeet the 
rapidly growing wants of the count ry" the control 
by the Supreme Government became necessarily 
more thorough with the result that friction increased. 
It was manifest that a radical change was necessary. 
The need of a central authority was as great in 
1860 as it had been at any date earlier At the same 
time it was obvious that the administration of the 
country had to be conducted by the Local 
F, 6 



42 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Governments. The main problem now was so to 
harmonise the functions of the two that the 
machinery of state might work smoothly. The 
proposal that the two Governorships should be 
subordinate only to the Secretary of State was 
retrograde and would probably have made the two 
governments bureaucratic despotisms. On the other 
hand, the reduction of the Bombay and Madras 
Governments to Lieutenant Governorships would 
have provoked serious opposition in England. 
Complete centralisation was undesirable. The only 
alternative was to allocate the functions of the two 
authorities, local and supreme, leaving general control 
and supervision to the latter until the elements of 
popular control might be introduced. But owing to 
the effort of the Central Executive to direct the whole 
administration in the exercise of its responsibility 
to the Parliament, no reform in that direction was 
possible. Centralisation maintained its pace with the 
result that in a few years the tension became still 
greater. 



CHAPTER II 

THE TRANSITION 1860-1870. 

A general idea of the powers of the Supreme 

Government in India has been given in the preceding 

chapter. The main legal basis of 

Powers of the its aut hority was the Act of 1833, the 
Government of . . . 

India, provisions of which, so far as they 

affected the relationship between 
the several governments in India were not disturbed 
by the Act of 1858. The power of general control 
and supervision over the Local Governments, vested 
by the earlier Acts in the Governor General and 
Council, remained unaffected. Besides, the laws 
passed by the Indian legislature also defined the 
extent of the authority of the Supreme and the Local 
Governments. The Government of India had issued 
Resolutions from time to time, determining the 
limits within which the Local Governments could 
act, or laying down rules regulating the conduct of 
government. Thus, by 1860, as a result of 
administrative evolution and legislative enactments 
a system was established which was followed by the 
Government of India in its dealings with the 
subordinate governments. The Supreme Government 
was responsible for all political relations with foreign 
or Indian states. It was vested with a general 
supervisory control over all affairs of government 
and was enjoined not to let "pass without comment, 

43 



44 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

and, if necessary, without effective interference any 

measures having an injurious tendency either to 

one Presidency or to the Empire at large". 
Moreover it was the sole legislative and the final 
financial authority. And as every expenditure, or 
every creation of a post required its previous 
sanction, it had "the opportunity of interference 
with all the details of administration", central or 
provincial. 

Before 1861 the Supreme Government made all 
laws, whether of local or general application. But 
in that year legislative power was restored to the 
Governments of Bombay and Madras, and provision 
was made for the establishment of legislative councils 
in other provinces 1 . The Government of India, 
nevertheless, had concurrent powers of legislation 
and its "laws and regulations" could "control and 
supersede any laws and regulations" made by the 
Local Governments 2 . Moreover, the Governor 
General had the right of veto over all local legislation, 
for no law could be valid unless assented to by him 8 . 
Bengal was also given a Legislative Council in 1862. 
But legislation, even of a local character, relating to 
other provinces was conducted in the Supreme 
Council. Thus all laws, other than those of a 
purely local character applicable to Bengal, Bombay 
or Madras, continued to be enacted by the Supreme 
Government. It had at the same time the power to 



1 Indian Councils Act 1861. Preamble, also 
Section 44. 

1 Ibid. Section 22. 

8 IIbid. Section 40. . , 



THE TRANSITION 45 

issue ordinances having the force of law 1 . Further, 
it was invested with a rule-making power under 
many Acts of the Indian legislatures*. These rules 
were as good as law. 

Great legislative activity was shown after 1861. 
The labours of the Law Commissioners were 
fruitful in producing the drafts of many codes of 
substantive law which are in force up to the present 
day. After the tumult of the Mutiny, the country 
settled in peace and with peace new needs came to 
light. Every aspect of life needed attention ; every 
department of state required improvement. The 
result was a harvest of laws passed by the Governor 
General's Council, affecting almost all matters of 
administration. And because local legislation could 
not encroach on the measures passed by the Supreme 
Council, without the previous sanction of the 
Governor General, the Government of India had 
for a long time afterwards, the means of scrutinising 
and controlling the legislative action of the Local 
Governments 8 . 

It has been mentioned before that " the law 
invested the Supreme Government with the most 
complete authority in regard to every kind of 
expenditure ", subject to the control by the Secretary 
of State, and that all the revenues collected in 
British India formed one purse, their allocation for 
definite services being ordered by the Government of 

1 Indian Councils Act, 1861, Section 23. 

2 For example : Act XVIII of 1861, Act IX and 
XXI of 1869. 

8 Indian Councils Act 1861. Section 43, 



46 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

India 1 . To secure the systematic and regulated 
disbursement of revenues, the Budget system was 
introduced in 1860, authorising expenditure under 
each head. Every departure from the estimates 
required the specific sanction of the Governor 
General in Council. Moreover, it was ordered that 
every new expenditure before being included in the 
Budget must be submitted to the Financial 
Department of the Government of India for 
sanction. 1 The machinery to secure adherence of 
the Local Governments to its estimates was the 
Financial Department at the centre with its Accounts 
Officers in each province whose duty it was to 
check every item of provincial expenditure and to 
see that no financial rules were violated by the 
spending authorities. The Civil Accounts 
Department was a separate branch of the Government 
of India. Its officers were required to report all 
cases in which the Local Government might act in 
opposition to the orders of the Government of India 8 . 
Moreover, the Government of India was vested 
with powers of general control and superintendence 
over the whole range of governmental activity 4 . In 
specific cases its sanction was required under some 
Acts of the Indian legislature, relating to judicial, 
police, registration, and forest departments 5 . The 

1 Chesney p. 351. * Trevelyan's evidence before the 
Select Committee 1873. Q. 796-7. 

3 Finance Resolution No. 1549, 12th August 1868. 

4 Act of 1833 Section 65. 

5 Acts XXI of 1836, VII of 1843, XXIX of 1845, 
I of 1849, XXIV of 1855, XL of 1860, V of 1861, HI and 
XXVI of 1864, VII of 1865, XX of 1866. 



f rtE TRANSITION 4^ 

distribution and discipline of the Covenanted Civil 
Service was also its sole charge, for these officers were 
recruited and appointed by the Secretary of State and 
all references to the India Office relating to them were 
sent through the Government of India. Appointment 
of the higher officers of the Public Works 
Department in the northern provinces required 
the sanction or confirmation of the Government 
of India. Similarly, the members of the Board of 
Revenue in Bengal were appointed by it. To these 
duties was added the direct administration of some 
departments of imperial rather than provincial 
interest, such as the Post Office, Telegraph, 
Trignometrical, Topographical and Geological 
Surveys, as well as the Political Department and 
the Military Department (excluding the armies 
of Bombay and Madras). Absolute necessity for 
uniformity in their operations, and political reasons 
rendered it expedient that these should remain 
immediately under one authority. 1 The centralisation 
of such services was complete during this period. 
Besides, the Supreme Government had under its 
direct authority the Chief Commissionerships newly 
established in Oudh, the Central Provinces and 
Burma. The Governor General in Council was 
in the eyes of the law the "Local Government 11 for 
those areas and as long as these powers were not 
delegated by him to the Chief Commissioners, the 
work of the Government of India was heavy. The 
minor Administrations made references to it, often, 



1 Note by E. C. Bayley, Secretary, Home Department. 
Public Proceedings, 7 December 1867, No, 60, 



46 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

on petty matters of detail and were closely controlled 
by the Supreme Government. As such the Governor 
General in Council had a large share of direct 
administration besides his supervisory and controlling 
function over the major provincial governments 
whose proceedings were sent to him regularly in 
addition to separate information on all important 
matters. By this means every activity of these 
governments came under his review. The exercise 
of these powers by him led virtually to the 
concentration of all authority in the Supreme 
Government, and it may be said that the entire 
machinery of government was kept in motion by 
that body. 

Next we may consider the extent of the authority 

of the Local Governments, which may be classified 

in three grades according to their 

Powers of position and character of 
the Local . . f> ., 

Government. government, namely, the Presidency 

Governments, the Lieutenant 
Governorships and the Local Administrations. The 
two Presidencies of Bombay and Madras were each 
, governed by a Governor and three Councillors, and 
had a seperate army and a separate civil service. 
By the Act of 1861 they were given Legislative 
Councils, whose members were appointed by the 
Governor, and rules of business sanctioned by him. 
A High Court was also established in each, the 
executive control being vested in the Governor in 
Council. All appointments to offices in the two 
Presidencies were made by the respective Governors. 
They alone could make promotions and transfers 



THE TRANSITION 49 

in their provinces. The conduct of whole 
administration judicial, criminal, and police was 
in their hands; and the land-revenue settlements 
were made, sanctioned and enforced by them. So 
also were the excise and minor sources of revenue. 
In short " their domestic administration was 
subjected to the minimum degree of control." 1 

Compared with them, the Lieutenant Governor- 
ships of Bengal, the North Western Provinces and 
the Punjab held a lower position. The Lieutenant 
Governors were immediately responsible to the 
Governor General by whom they were, subject to 
the approval of the Crown, appointed. They had 
no Executive Council for their help and no separate 
military or civil service under their control. 
Nevertheless their "range of action was to a very 
great extent untrammelled". They made all 
appointments except those of the members of the 
Board of Revenue, for which the previous sanction 
of the Governor General was required*, and those of 
the Chief Engineer and the Superintending 
Engineers in the Public Works Department which 
were made by the Government of India. 8 Once 
the members of the superior services were assigned 
to different Local Governments their promotion and 
transfer lay with the Lieutenant Governors. 

The Indian Councils Act of 1861 provided also 
for the establishment of Legislative Councils in 

1 Note by W. Muir Foreign Secretary, 28 September 
1867 Public Proceedings, 7 December 1867, No. 64. 

3 Note by W. Muir para 9. 8 Code of Regulations 
in the Public Works Department, Sectionn II, Art, 8, 

F,7 



46 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

on petty matters of detail and were closely controlled 
by the Supreme Government. As such the Governor 
General in Council had a large share of direct 
administration besides his supervisory and controlling 
function over the major provincial governments 
whose proceedings were sent to him regularly in 
addition to separate information on all important 
matters. By this means every activity of these 
governments came under his review. The exercise 
of these powers by him led virtually to the 
concentration of all authority in the Supreme 
Government, and it may be said that the entire 
machinery of government was kept in motion by 
that body. 

Next we may consider the extent of the authority 

of the Local Governments, which may be classified 

in three grades according to their 

Powers of position and character of 
IheLocal , , ~ . , 

Government. government, namely, the Presidency 

Governments, the Lieutenant 
Governorships and the Local Administrations. The 
two Presidencies of Bombay and Madras were each 
governed by a Governor and three Councillors, and 
had a separate army and a separate civil service. 
By the Act of 1861 they were given Legislative 
Councils, whose members were appointed by the 
Governor, and rules of business sanctioned by him. 
A High Court was also established in each, the 
executive control being vested in the Governor in 
Council. All appointments to offices in the two 
Presidencies were made by the respective Governors. 
They alone could make promotions and transfers 



THE TRANSITION 49 

in their provinces. The conduct of whole 
administration judicial, criminal, and police was 
in their hands; and the land-revenue settlements 
were made, sanctioned and enforced by them. So 
also were the excise and minor sources of revenue. 
In short " their domestic administration was 
subjected to the minimum degree of control.'* 1 

Compared with them, the Lieutenant Governor- 
ships of Bengal, the North Western Provinces and 
the Punjab held a lower position. The Lieutenant 
Governors were immediately responsible to the 
Governor General by whom they were, subject to 
the approval of the Crown, appointed. They had 
no Executive Council for their help and no separate 
military or civil service under their control. 
Nevertheless their "range of action was to a very 
great extent untrammelled". They made all 
appointments except those of the members of the 
Board of Revenue, for which the previous sanction 
of the Governor General was required*, and those of 
the Chief Engineer and the Superintending 
Engineers in the Public Works Department which 
were made by the Government of India. 8 Once 
the members of the superior services were assigned 
to different Local Governments their promotion and 
transfer lay with the Lieutenant Governors. 

The Indian Councils Act of 1861 provided also 
for the establishment of Legislative Councils in 

1 Note by W. Muir Foreign Secretary, 28 September 
1867 Public Proceedings, 7 December 1867, No. 64. 

3 Note by W. Muir para 9. 8 Code of Regulations 
in the Public Works Department, Sectionn II, Art 8, 

F,7 



50 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Bengal, the North Western Provinces and the 

Punjab, and Sir Charles Wood in his despatch of 9th 

August 1861 desired that there should be no delay 

in establishing them. As a result, Bengal got a 

Legislative Council in 1862 but the other two 

provinces were not so fortunate. The Bengal 

Council had the same privileges as that of Bombay 

or Madras except that the nomination of its members 

required the confirmation of the Governor General. 

A High Court was also established in Bengal but, 

unlike Madras or Bombay, the executive control over 

it was vested in the Governor General in Council, 

the Local Government having no concern with 

it But the same was not the case with the High 

Court of Allahabad established in 1866. 

The Lieutenant Governors had no direct access 
to the Secretary of State, the correspondence for 
those provinces being conducted by the Government 
of India. They were members of the Indian 
services and also because of proximity to the seat 
of the Supreme Government and from their personal 
relation to the Governor General were more 
amenable to control by the latter. But "in point 
of internal administration, their freedom of action 
and degree of check" was not greatly different from 
those of the Presidency Governments, except in the 
Punjab in which, due to many circumstances, the 
interference was "perhaps greater". It may be said, 
however, that in the case of all these governments, 
owing "to the more intimate acquaintance of the 
Supreme Government with the provinces concerned, 
the opportunities of control arid direction were more 



THE TRANSITION 51 

constant, and the references from the Local 
Governments themselves more frequent" 1 

Third in rank came the Local Administrations 
governed by a Chief Commissioner as in the Central 
Provinces, Oudh and British Burma. These provinces 
"had been for a comparatively short period under 
British rule " and their heads were officers of less 
experience than in the older provinces. Hence as 
William Muir put it, their administration "requires to 
be adapted to them with greater pliancy, care and 
caution ; and undecided questions and principles are 
more frequently arising for solution. On these 
grounds, the subordination to the Government of 
India is more complete than with the Lieutenant 
Governorships and references for guidance are more 
frequent. But the general principles are the same, the 
only material difference being that the Government 
of India retains the power of sanctioning the Land 
Revenue Settlements lfl . Superior appointments 
too required the sanction or confirmation of 
the Governor General, specially in the Public 
Works Department 8 . The Supreme Government 
exercised a real control over these Administrations, 
though owing to the distance of some of them a 
greater discretion was permitted, as in Burma 4 . 

It is necessary to keep this gradation of Local 
Governments in mind in order to assess their power 



1 Note by Muir. Public Proceedings, 7 December 1867. 

2 Note by Muir, 

8 P.W.D. Code of Regulations, Chapter I, Section ii, 
4 Note by Muir, 



52 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

and authority. To this were due the superior tone 
and the claims of differential treatment held by the 
Governments of Madras and Bombay. It was also 
responsible for the wrong impression prevalent at 
the time "that India was governed through three 
Presidencies of which Bengal was under the 
Governor General as being the Chief Presidency," 
a theory accountable for many queer schemes of 
federation as well as a great deal of conflict between 
the Supreme and Presidency Governments. But 
the differentiation was greater in practice than in 
law, specially between the two upper grades called 
Local Governments. The Indian laws passed either 
by the central or local legislatures envisaged the 
existence of Local Governments to which they 
assigned certain legal functions. In many cases 
this legal authority was absolute while in others it 
was subject to control by the Governor General 
in Council, generally by means of requiring his 
previous sanction. These laws merely legalised 
executive powers over the administration which 
was carried on by the Local Governments, thus 
giving them legislative sanction for a great variety 
of executive activity. A glance over the laws 
passed by the Governor General's Council between 
1860 and 1870 will make the position clear. As 
an instance, executive authority was vested in the 
Local Governments in almost all the important 
aspects of administration such as by the Arms Act, 
Employers and Workmen Act, Police Act, Foreigner 
and European Vagrancy Acts, Female Infanticide 
Act, Small Cause Court Act, Registration Act, Press 



THE TRANSITION 53 

Act, and Municipalities Act etc. etc. 1 In a few cases, 
however, the rule-making power was retained by the 
Supreme Government as under the Land Acquisition, 
Arms, European Vagrancy, Female Infanticide, 
Stamp, Customs and Salt Duty Acts etc. The rules 
were made by each Local Government according to 
its requirements but, to secure uniformity as far as 
possible, the previous sanction of the Governor General 
in Council was necessary for their validity. During 
this period, evidently the practice had developed of 
leaving control to the Local Governments over such 
subjects as did not affect general finances or involved 
expenditure from the Imperial revenues, or were not 
of more than local importance. Neverthess, the grant 
of salaries, fixing of duties, imposition of taxes and 
general control over important administrative 
departments such as police, were retained under its 
jurisdiction by the Supreme Government. 2 The law 
recognised only Local Governments and unless a 
Chief Commissioner was invested with the powers of 
a Local Government by the Governor General he 
could not exercise the authority mentioned above. 
Before 1870 in many cases such delegation had been 
made 8 . 



1 Acts XXXI of I860, IX of 1860, V of 1861, III of 
1864, XXI of 1869, VIII of 1870, XII of 1861, XI of 1865, 
XVI of 1864, XX of 1866, XXV of 1867, XVIII of 1864 
XV of 1867, and VI of 1868 etc. 

* For example under Acts XXXII of I860, IX of 1868 
and XXVI of 1870 etc., assigning of salaries required 
approval of the Government of India. For imposition of 
duties see Act XXXVI of i860 and VI of 1868 etc. ; also 
Police Act V of 1861. 

8 Act XXXII of 1867 (Chief Commissioner's power 



54 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

The Government of India exercised its power of 
supervision in many ways which may be conveniently 
placed under three main heads; 

Extent of the ca ses in which the sanction of the 
Control by the ~ . r T ,. ~ 

Government of Government of India or Governor 

India. General is required by some law; 

cases in which the sanction of the 
Government of India is required to increased 
expenditure, and cases involving general principle 
or precedent or which are likely to rise into Imperial 
importance, or to create a grave public scandal, or in 
which an illegality has been committed, or in which 
appeals have been preferred by individuals from the 
orders of the Local Governments (not of Madras 
and Bombay) ;" or in other words legislative, financial 
and administrative 9 . 

The previous sanction or subsequent confirmation 
by the Governor General in Council was required 

for the proceedings of the Local 
Legislative, Government under many Acts, the 

most important being those which 
related to their legislative powers. The three 
provincial Legislative Councils were empowered to 
enact laws of local application, but their powers were 
restricted by Section 43 of the Act, which made it 
unlawful for them, except with the previous sanction 

Act) empowered the Governor General in Council by a 
notification in the Gazette of India to delegate his powers 
to the Chief Commissioners of Oudh, the Central Provinces 
and Burma. 

2 Note by Bayley. Public Proceedings, 7 December, 
1867, 



THE tRANSITION 5$ 

of the Governor General, to make laws affecting the 
public debt of India, or the customs duties or any 
other tax or duty imposed by the Government of 
India for general purposes, or regulating coinage, 
paper currency, postal and telegraph departments, 
patents, or copyrights, or altering in any way 
the Penal Code of India, or affecting religious 
usages of the people, discipline and maintenance 
of the military or naval forces and relations with 
foreign princes or states 1 . Bills relating to these 
measures were referred to the Governor General 
for previous sanction. To these, the Secretary of 
State in 1862 added one more, viz that " all Bills 
containing penal clauses should be submitted for 
...previous sanction" of the Governor General 2 . The 
reason assigned for this was the maintenance of 
uniformity in the penal laws of the country. 

Also it was considered desirable that all measures 
of local administration which would affect the 
finances of the country should be submitted in 
draft for the preliminary sanction of the Governor 
General in Council before being introduced into the 
Legislative Council. Lord Canning hoped " that 
the cases in which it (sanction) would be withheld 
would be very rare indeed, if the Local Government 
before framing its Bill was careful to ascertain to 
what extent its principles or provisions, so far as 
these affected the finances, or other general interests 
of India, would be admitted by the Governor General 

1 SectiooTS, Act of 1861. 

8 Despatch from Secretary of State, No. 35 (Legislative) 
1 December 1862. 



55 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

in Council and if it understood that the Governor 
General in Council takes cognizance of the draft Bill 
only in so far as it touched the general interests 
of the empire, and not in its bearing upon local 
administration" *. Sir Charles Wood in his despatch 
on the Indian Councils' Act emphasised this point 
and desired that there should be little interference 
by the one with the field of the other. 8 For some 
years only those Bills were submitted for previous 
sanction which came under section 43 or the orders 
of the Secretary of State, and no attempt was made 
to call for all Bills indiscriminately. Nevertheless, 
the interference of the Governor General at the 
preliminary stage was not necessarily confined to 
the points referred for his sanction. We are informed 
by Mr. Bayley that "other portions which would 
affect the ultimate sanction to be given by the 
Governor General are occasionally noticed and 
sometimes points suggested which seem to require 
consideration in connection with the subject matter 
of the Bill". It may also be mentioned that this 
scrutiny was made by the executive departments to 
which the subject matter pertained, and before the 
Governor General gave his sanction they were noted 
upon in the Home Department. 8 

The idea behind the provision of preliminary 
scrutiny of draft Bills was to safeguard against 

1 Despatch of Lord Canning to Secretary of State 
dated 9 December 1859. 

2 Secretary of State's despatch No. 14, dated 9 August 
1861. 

3 Bayley's Note (Public, Proceeding 7 December 1867. 
No. 60.) 



THB TRANSITION S 1 

encroachment by the local legislatures on the 
domains of the Supreme Government, and to put 
them in a proper form so that a frequent use of the 
power of veto might be obviated. The Secretary 
of State's order of 1862 was prompted by the latter 
motive, for otherwise the law required the submission 
of such Bills only for previous sanction as might in 
any wise alter the Indian Penal Code. 1 Many projects 
of local legislation came under such review of the 
Government of India. Later, in 1869 an effort was 
made to regularise the review of all Bills ot local 
Councils, and a course was suggested that they 
should at one stage or another be sent to the 
Legislative Department of the Government of 
India which would take them into consideration and 
make suggestions with regard to them. The reason 
given for this altered procedure was that in many 
cases there was divergence in the wording and 
structure of* the Acts of one Council from those of the 
others. Also there was "a decided want of harmony 
in the principles underlying the enactments of the 
four Indian legislatures".* But the Local Governments 
opposed it vehemently as "placing a further limit 
to the I already restricted powers of legislation 

1 Secretary of State's Despatch No. 35 (Legislative) 
1 Decmeber 1862, The order was issued on the letter of the 
Government of India informing that the Governor General 
had withheld his assent to three Bills passed by the 
Legislative Council of Bombay as their provisions came 
into conflict with the Indian Penal Code. 

8 Letter to Bengal No. 172, 15 June 1869 quoted in 'A 
Selection of Papers relating to the Constitution and 
Functions of Indian Legislative Councils'. 1886 pp. 207-8, 

F. 8 



56 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

possessed by the local legislatures", and as "a real 
and substantial infringement on their present 
independence", 1 They considered it as "incompatible 
with the maintenance of legislative independence", 
likely to "destroy that local opinion and local 
independence for the sake of which the Councils 
were created". 2 Owing to this determined opposition, 
the proposal was dropped, 8 

There is no doubt that this simple desire of the 
Legislative Department to secure perfection in the 
structure of the Bills would ultimately have led to 
greater interference with the legislative powers of the 
local Councils. It would have introduced Imperial 
authority at a very early stage which must have 
resulted in the local Councils registering merely those 
opinions which were supplied to them by the 
Imperial Government 4 . Thus before 1870, the 
preliminary control on local legislation was confined 
only to cases coming under the law of 1861 or the 

1 Letters from Bengal No. 647T dated 12 October 1869, 
Madras No. 203, 13 July 1869 ani Bombay No. 55,26 
April 1871 

* Madras Letter of 13 July 1869 and Madras despatch 
to the Secretary of State. No. 5 dated 1 November. 1869. 

8 Despatch to the Secretary of State No. 11, 2 
June 1871. 

4 Madras despatch to the Secretary of State No. 5 
1, November 1869. Lord Mayo, however, considered it to 
be "an honest attempt to make imperial and local legislation 
more harmonious, and to make the exercise of the power 
of veto less likely than before." He wrote further that " a 
good proposal has been defeated by the local jealousy and 
distrust of the Supreme Government which is the course 
gf our administration." Minute dated 23 May 1871. 



THE TRANSITION 59 

orders of the Secretary of State. There does not 
seem, also, to have been any interference with the 
course of the Bill in the local Councils. The 
Government of India was not prepared to come into 
conflict with public opinion as expressed in the 
Councils and so it permitted the provincial 
governments to enjoy the limited legislative 
independence which was given to them in 1861- 

The next stage of check on local legislation came 
when the Bills as passed by the local Councils were 
sent up for the final assent of the Governor General 
under Section 40 of the Act of 1861. The Bills 
were examined by the Home and the Legislative 
Departments of the Government of India and then 
submitted to the Governor General for sanction. 
There was reluctance to veto an Act of the local 
Council, unless the irregularity was very great. 
The principles on which interference was exercised 
at this stage were explained on two occassions. In 
reply to the Bengal Chamber of Commerce the 
Supreme Government wrote, "Neither is it the 
duty of the Governor General to veto every Bill 
with which, or with part of which, he may not 
coincide. His province rather is to reserve his veto 
for measures which involve some distinct illegality 
or compromise some fixed principle or infringe 
some settled rule of policy." 1 These views were 
approved by the Secretary of State. 9 Again in 

1 Government of India letter to Bengal Chamber of 
Commerce, No. 2187, 23 June 1866. 

* Secretary of State's Despatch (Legislative) No. 5f 
6 September 1866. 



6G ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONMY 

1869, Mr. Whitley Stokes, Secretary to the 
Legislative Council of the Governor General 
reiterated these principles in the words that "that 
power ( of veto ) should, in the opinion of His 
Excellency, rarely be exercised and never except on 
grounds of public policy or for other irresistible 
reasons " x The fear of damaging the authority of the 
local Councils and of causing misunderstanding and 
ill-feeling between their members and those of the 
Supreme Government was accountable for this 
hesitation. 8 In some instances, however, the assent 
was withheld as in the case of Madras Presidency 
Town Jails Bill, because it professed to repeal 
certain sections of Act XVIII of 1862 passed by the 
Supreme Council. Some Bills were assented to 
under reservation as for instance, the Bombay 
Municipal Act 1865, the Madras Bank Ace 1866, the 
Madras Municipal Bill 1867, Calcutta Steam Boilers 
and Prime Movers Bill and the Bill to amend the 
law relating to the collection of tolls on canals in 
Bengal, 1864. In each case some condition was 
imposed, either that the offensive clauses would 
remain inoperative or that action would only be 
taken subject to the control by the Government of 
India or that early opportunity would be taken to 
amend or repeal them. 8 

The Acts passed by the local Legislative 
Councils were, with some exceptions, of a purely 



1 Letter to Government of Bengal No. 172, 15 June 
1869. * Ibid. Note by Mr, Bayley: Public Proceed- 
ings, 7 December 1867. 



THE TRANSITION 6t 

local character relating to such subjects as port 
regulation, river signals, realisation of rent, municipal 
institutions, transport of labour, town police, education 
and local courts of justice 1 . The output during 
this period was not considerable, about "six to nine 
Acts apiece annually" 8 . These provided for the 
administrative needs of the province. Some 
legislation of a general character was also enacted 
by them, its purpose being to introduce some 
improvement within the province itself in the 
absence of a general improvement of the law by 
the Supreme Government. It was as if "each 
Presidency experimented upon itself for the benefit 
of all India" 8 . Administrative reforms, not universally 
approved in the beginning, might thus be tried 
in a particular province and if successful could 
be adopted by the others ultimately. The 
Government of India, however, was always vigilant 
and insisted on its previous sanction being taken 
on measures of this character. It took care to see 
that such projects were not barred for the local 
Councils by the Indian Councils' Act, or that 
they did not conflict with the Letters Patent and 
the jurisdiction of the High Courts, or did not 
affect imperial taxation or did not lead to the 
creation of new offices without its previous 

1 Letters from Bengal to Government of India, 
No. 647 T. 12 October 1869. 

* Minute by Cunningham. 16 May 1871. 

8 Letter from Madras to Government of India, 
No. 203, 13 July 1869. 



62 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

previous sanction. 1 In certain cases the general policy 
of the Bill was disapproved and its scope limited 
accordingly. 8 The control thus exercised before 1870 
was neither very minute nor in any way unauthorised 
by law. The Local Governments were, at the same 
time, very jealous of any interference with their 
legislative independence and were not prepared to 
allow any greater power to the Supreme Government 
than given by Parliament. The independence of local 
Councils, they considered, was necessary for "rapidity 
of legislation, adaptation of laws to the special wants 
of the Presidency, and heightened interest in local 
matters. 3 " Some of these results had been secured* 



1 For example, the draft Bill relating to br ach of 
contracts of service in Bombay Presidency (Bombay Letter 
No. 2809, 20 Sep. 1864) and Mr. Trevor's motion to amend 
Act XXIII of 1863 in Bengal Council (1864) were not 
approved as being barred by the Act of 1861. So also the 
draft Bill for relief of Insolvent Debtors submitted by the 
Bombay Government was negatived as affecting Letters 
Patent; or Bombay proposals for Wheel Tax Bill (1863), for 
providing compensation to the official Assignee (No. 3193, 
26 Sep. 1865), for a Bill for the regulation of Jails and the 
enforcement of discipline (No. 138, 15 June 1865) were 
declined as affecting Imperial taxation, or leading to 
the creation of new offices. (Bayley's Note. Public 
Proceedings 7 December 1867). 

* For example the scope of the Bombay Bill for 
prevention of gambling throughout the Presidency was 
limited to large towns only (1864); also the proposal for 
the establishment of Reformatory Schools for juvenile 
offenders (Bombay No. 2720, 17 August 1865) was 
negatived; and Bengal proposal for a law to prevent 
polygamy among the Hindus of Bengal (No. 1957, 5 April 
1866) was declined as people were not prepared for it. 

B Madras Letter to the Government of India No. 203, 
13 July I860. 



THE TRANSITION 63 

Financial supremacy of the Government of India 
recognised by the Act of 1833 was still an established 
fact. All the revenue collected in 
Financial. the various provinces went to a 

common fund out of which definite 
allocations were made for the expenses of the Local 
Governments. The budget estimate as approved by 
the Financial Department was their sanction for 
appropriation. Every new expenditure and all 
proposals involving increased expenditure required 
the previous assent of the Governor General in 
Council. 1 This rule brought the action of the Local 
Governments by far the most frequently under the 
scrutiny of the Government of India. All such 
references were submitted eventually to the Financial 
Department with whom rested the decision on purely 
financial grounds, But the relative claims of various 
proposals for additional expenditure had to be decided, 
so much for administrative reasons, that they were 
first considered in the Department of the Government 
of India to which the subject-matter of the 
proposal belonged. There they were examined " on 
other than purely financial grounds ", and if approved 
were sent to the Financial Department for further 
decision on financial considerations 1 . 

But, as in the case of legislation, the tendency at 
the time was to relax control by the Supreme 
Government over the financial details of the local 



1 Evidence of Lord Lawrence before the Select 
Committee 1873. Q. 4648-9. 

8 Mr. Bayley's Note, Public Proceedings. 7 December 
1867. 



64 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOM* 

administration. There was of course no change in 
the legal position of the two, and, as has been 
mentioned before, the Government of India had the 
most complete authority in regard to every kind of 
expenditure. In general outlines too there was no 
material alteration and the allotments for all 
provincial services were made by the Government 
of India. The budget system as introduced by 
Mr. Wilson strictly regulated the expenditure in every 
department, and the creation of every new office 
howsoever petty required the previous sanction of the 
Governor General in Council. But within the limits 
of the budget estimates the Local Governments were 
allowed some latitude. The Local Governments 
were empowered in 1862 to redistribute expenses and 
to recast establishments without increasing the 
expenditure budgetted under that head 1 . They 
"had the power, subject to report to the Government 
of India, to increase the pay of particular 
establishments in the same department, provided, 
further, the alteration be within the Budget grant 
for the year."* When the Police Department was 
being reorganised in consequence of the 

1 Resolution Finance Department. 30 September 1862. 

2 Office Memo, Finance Department No. 6251, 
12 December 1863. Also Mr. Lushington's Note dated 
6 December 1867: Local Governments "are empowered to 
revise permanent establishments within the scale of charge 
or within the existing Budget provision so long as they do 

not alter the salary of the Gazetted appointments 

Temporary establishments.. .are provided for in the Budget 
and within the Budget limits are passed by the Local 
Governments......" Public Proceedings, 7 December 1867, 

No. 66. 



THE TRANSITION 69 

recommendations of the Police Commission of 1860, 
a money limit was fixed for each province within 
which the Local Governments were free to adjust 
the details, reporting subsequently the arrangements 
made to the Government of India. 1 But this 
latitude did not imply any less control over Local 
Government expenditure. The Government of India 
made it clear in a letter to the Punjab Government 
that "it must not be supposed that, by fixing a 
sum for expenditure on the Punjab police, the 
Government of India intended to deprive itself of 
all control over expenditure. When the present 
reductions have been carried out there will be no 
objection again to fix a sum as the limit of 
expenditure within which the Government of India 
will not interfere in matters of petty detail. But 
in respect to any alteration in the number or pay 
of officers holding gazetted appointments it will not 
be competent to the Local Government to make 
any change without previous sanction, nor could 
such power be delegated by the Government of 
India. 02 In actual practice the Government of 
India was following the policy sketched above and 
even when an agreement had been made with the 
Local Governments that they could reorganise the 
Police Department within the money limit fixed, the 
Financial Department objected to any new change 

1 Resolution No. 2019, 15 April 1864. But the limit 
was fixed for a year only. 

8 Letter to the Government of tbe Punjab, No. 762, 
20 October 1869. 

F. 9 



66 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

and suggested detailed retrenchments. The Local 
Governments resented it, but they were informed 
that such expenditure (Police) "was not meant to 
be under any less control 11 than the expenditure 
of other Departments 1 . 

The Government of India maintained a rigorous 
control on all proposals for increased expenditure 
and was averse to making extra grants for any 
purpose other than famine works after the grant of 
the year (Budget grants) had been once fixed 2 . The 
Budget estimates, as mentioned before, were 
minutely examined and all new expenses had to 
secure previous sanction of the Government of India 
separately. During this period also, the number of 
references relating to creation of posts and grants of 
salaries was immense and sometimes included salaries 
as low as rupees four a month 8 . The introduction 
of the Budget system had certainly obviated the need 
for a close scrutiny of all the details, but tradition 
and departmental red-tapism prevented any serious 
change being made. Before the introduction of the 
Budget and regular audit it was necessary to insist 
on previous sanction for each item, but now this 
prerogative of the Financial Department could 

1 Resolution H. D., 28 June 1864 (Police Proceedings, 
July 1864, No. IS.) 

* Letter to Madras No. 754 A., P. W D. 9 October 
1868. 

8 Mr. Lushington, Financial Secretary, submitted a 
list of cases in which the Finance Department had objected 
to the proposals of the Local Governments. The number 
of such cases in three years (1864-67) was 300 and more* 
(Public Proceedings, 7 December 1867- No, 67). 



THE TRANSITION 67 

easily be relaxed. 1 The Local Governments resented 
this interference, and thus the relations between the 
two were becoming unharmonious. The Government 
of India was at the same time unable to assess every 
recommendation of the Local Governments at its 
right value, and, as such, had to yield to the clamour 
of the most importunate. The Local Governments, 
in the words of Colonel Dickens, rendered "at best 
to the Supreme Government a cold and languid 
support in financial vigilance and reform ; they too 
often exhibit a passive resistance, and even 
countenance evasions of regulations intended to be 
conducive to economy 11 . 

The demands of the Local Governments were 
increasing from day to day, and this the Government 
of India was unable to check. The distribution of 
public income was most unequal and, as General 
Strachey wrote, had degenerated "into something 
like a scramble, in which the most violent has the 
advantage."* The lack of interest in economy in the 
Local Governments generated waste. Specially in 
public works, uncoordinated schemes, perhaps the 
outcome of the vagaries of the local Governor, were 
taken up without much regard to the capacity of the 
general purse, and prosecuted specially in Bombay 
sometimes even without the sanction of the 
Government of India. 8 The Government of Bombay 

1 Note by Col. Dickens dated 21 November 1867. Public 
Proceedings, 7 December 1867, No. 62. 

3 Strachey, Finances and Public Works of India, p. 137. 
8 Note by Col. Dickens, Public Proceedings, 7 Dec. 1867, 



CHAPTER III 

EARLIER SCHEMES OF 
DECENTRALISATION 1860-1870. 

Centralisation was the political creed of the 
time in India as the entire constitution of the 
Government was based on it. But 
Factors leading in actual practice as has been 
to Decentrahsa- ... . , 

indicated in the foregoing chapter, 



it was greatly tempered by the 
demands of the situation. The opposition of the 
Presidency Governments, the lack of knowledge 
in the Supreme Council about the details of 
administrative needs in the distant provinces, and 
the impracticability of maintaining a minute control 
on the local administration, all tended to an 
occasional relaxation of supreme authority. In 
fact, centralisation in its literal sense had never 
been given an uninterrupted trial. Nevertheless, 
it must be admitted that even the most sanguine 
optimist could not contemplate a prolonged 
establishment of that idea in India without 
apprehending an eventual breakdown. 

The vastness of the country with its multifarious 
population organised in units having different 
languages, as well as varying social and economic 
systems, made uniformity impossible. The evolution 
of the administrative and legal system under the 

98 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 99 

British rule also had adopted the Presidential 
framework. As a consequence, when political life 
developed it at once assumed a local aspect. 
Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were the centres of 
this slowly unfolding public opinion, and naturally 
its vision was limited to the matters immediately 
within its ken. When therefore political life centred 
round provincial organisations, many schemes of 
reconstruction tended to strengthen the Local 
Government as against the Government of India. 
After the Mutiny, decentralisation implying the 
largest measure of discretion to the Local 
Government, both in general administration and 
finance, became the basis of proposals for 
administrative change. Mr. John Bright in 1858 
proposed the division of India into a number of 
autonomous Presidency governments, each directly 
controlled by the Secretary of State, without the 
intervention of the Government of India which 
might be abolished. 1 He considered decentralisation 
as the one essential condition of progress in this 
country. " What you want " he said, " is to 
decentralise your government. You will not make 
a single step towards the improvement of India 
unless you change your whole system of Government, 
unless you give to each Presidency a government 
with more independent powers than are now 
possessed." * Since then decentralisation became 



1 Mr. John Bright's speech in the House of Commons, 
24 June 1858. (Speeches, Vol. I, pp. 48-54). 

2 Speech in the House of Commons, 1 August 1859. 
(Speeches, Vol. I, p. J03 and p. 109) Mr. Bright repeated 



100 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

part of the policy of the Indian Reformers in 
England, and was later on taken up by the advanced 
political section in India also. 1 

Soon after the Mutiny it was found that 
centralisation had not been without serious difficulties 
and defects, the most important of which was the 
chronic state of conflict between the Government 
of India and the Presidency Governments, leading 
to serious inconvenience in administration. The 
Local Governments felt that they were unnecessarily 
restrained by the Supreme Government in their 
effort to do good to the people under their charge. 
The greatest resentment was against the financial 
control by the Government of India which without 
effecting much economy embittered the relations 
between the two. The Government of Bombay 
by "taking the bit between its teeth" habitually 
defied the authority of the Government of India and 
authorised expenditure not sanctioned by the latter. 1 



the proposal in his speeches on 18 December 1862 at 
Birmingham (Tract, I. O. L Vol. 162) and at Manchester 
on 11 December 1877. 

1 Eg. Prof. Fawcett, M.A. in England ; Hansard 
Vol. 191 p. 1842 ; Parliamentary .debate on 'East India 
Accounts, 12 August 1867. Hansard Vol. 189, pp. 1341- 
1410. For Indian opinion see proceedings of Bombay 
Presidency Association, East India Association etc. 
(Bombay Association Petition to Parliament in 1852. 
Tracts I. O. L. Vol. 156, pp. 11-15 ; also report of the 
Association Vol. 512), 

* Trevelyan. Evidence before Select Committee 1872- 
73. Q. 561-70. See Thomas : The growth of Federal 
Finance in India, Chapter XI for some details of this 
conflict between the Government of India and the 
Presidency Governments. 



EARLIER SCHEMES OP DECENTRALISATION 101 

Moreover, owing to the lack of responsibility there 
could not develop a sense of economy in the 
Local Governments. Extravagance or expense 
disproportionate to the resources of the state, was the 
result. That in turn led to serious dislocation of the 
financial system, and deficits were the consequence. 
Control over the expenditure of the subordinate 
Governments and exhortations for economy having 
failed to have due effect, other methods of making 
the two ends meet had to be considered. Also, the 
work of the Central Government had increased 
immensely owing to the necessity of scrutinising the 
details of local administration. Relief to the Supreme 
Government could be secured only by entrusting 
more authority to the subordinate agencies. 1 



1 Sir Henry Maine wrote in 1867. (Quoted by Strachey 
in his Minute on the administration of Lord Mayo) 

"I do not think that anybody can have observed the 
recent workings of our system of financial control without 
coming to the conclusion that if it be not on the point of 
an inevitable collapse, it is at all events in great danger of 
going to pieces, unless the strain be lightened somewhere. 
The rules imposed on the Local Governments depend 
for their force, like all laws, on the efficiency of the 
penalty which they threaten in the event of disobedience. 
The penalty is, in the present case a repoof from the 
Government of India. But if any Local Government 
has become which any Local Government might become 
at any day entirely callous to the rebukes of the 
Government of India, through discovering which any 
Local Government may at any time discover that these 
rebukes lead to no ulterior consequences, what impediment 
remains to the employment of one or more among the 
hundred expedients by which thelCentral Government may 
be normally compelled to condone infractions of its rules, 
and to allow the share of its revenues which it has 
allotted to a particular province to be exceeded", 



102 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

The local administrators could not be blamed 

for their zeal to improve the country in their charge. 

With new education and new standards of civilisation, 

a demand had arisen for modern means of 

communication, for urban improvement, for police, 

for schools and colleges and for facilities of irrigation 

etc. To provide all these, money was required. The 

Central Government could not provide funds for 

internal development because of its growing military, 

political and general administrative expenditure 

pressing hard on the revenues. The Supreme 

Government was naturally reluctant to increase 

taxation, as in the absence of any voluntary 

impositions by the people themselves, it must be 

resented as an act of despotism giving rise to 

discontent- Thus the very need of general 

improvement and up-to-date administration made for 

change in the system, 1 

There is one more factor which might have 
led to decentralisation. As a result of the Mutiny 
it was felt necessary to bring the measures, 



i See Maine's Minute, 16 March 1868. (Public 
Proceedings, 26 March 1868.) 

"Is it not the fact that India is daily becoming more 
difficult to govern, more submissive certainly as regards 
physical resistance, but more exacting in its demands for 
good, precise and politic Government ? It seems to me 
a man must be very unobservant who does not perceive 
that a time is near at hand when either the duties of the 
Government of India must be ill-discharged, or their 
sphere must be contracted. The present opportunity seems 
to me an excellent one for making timely provision against 
an inevitable future by conceding comparative independence 
to a province which, after all, from the very necessity of 
the case is even now pretty much left to itself". 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 103 

specially legislative and financial, of the government 
under public scrutiny, so that the Government 
might be able to know the public feeling before 
discontent flared up into open revolt. Also it was 
considered desirable to associate Indians with the 
administration with a view to train them for the 
ultimate, though distant, purpose of governing 
themselves, "the end and object of our (British) 
connection with that country." 1 It could not be 
conceived that they should be given at that time any 
share in, or influence over, the complexities of Central 
administration. The only field for experimentation 
was the Local Government or municipal 
administration. When the proposal for the 
reconstitution of Legislative Councils was being 
discussed in 1860-61, the importance of the admission 
of independent members, European and Indian, was 
emphasised. There was "considerable difficulty" as 
Sir Charles Wood remarked, u in assembling at 
any one place, official and non-official persons from 
distant parts of India, who may bring to the Council 
of the Governor General the advantage of their 
knowledge of different parts of the country". But 
it was felt that the "grant of legislative powers to 
councils in other parts of India" would render "it 
less necessary to have such persons present" in the 
Supreme Council. 2 At the same time, opinion 
was expressed though was not adopted, that such 

1 Trevelyan's Evidence, Q. 866 ; Select Committee on 
Indian Finance 1872-73. 

a Despatch from Secretary of State No. 14, 9 August 
1861. 



164 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

local councils should discuss the " budget or 
apportionment of the funds annually assigned by 
the Supreme Government for expenditure on police, 
education, public works etc., etc.," that is they should 
have the right of reviewing Local Government's 
expenditure and also be allowed "to lay on local 
taxes for local purposes." 1 It may further be pointed 
out that before 1870 many schemes for financial 
decentralisation or local taxation did include provision 
for non-official control, howsoever nominal, either in 
the local bodies or in the local Legislative Council. 

The establishment of local Legislative Councils 

was the first step in the direction of decentralisation. 

But the question was tackled 

Schemes of seriously only when the government 

Decentralisation, was faced with a serious financial 

crisis, and most of such discussions 

were " generated by financial necessities." 2 A 

commencement was made with the deficits of 



1 Minutes of Sir Bar tie Frere, 16 March 1860 and 29 
December, 1860. Also Minute by Mr. Laing dated 28 
January 1861 : "Even as regards finance, I should look 
forward to the time when, after meeting Imperial charges 
by general taxation, Local Governments might be allowed 
to levy local taxes for local objects; and to apportion 
the sums allotted to them by the general budget, within 
certain limits as they thought most desirable. The 
revision of the general estimates sent up by each Presidency 
to the Central Government would also be a duty in which 
the local Councils might usefully assist." (A selection of 
Papers relating to the constitution and Functions of the 
Indian Legislative Councils printed for private use in 1886). 

2 Finlay, History of Provincial FinancialtArrangements, 
para. H. 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 105 

1859*1862 and discussion was further carried 
on when the deficit recurred in 1866. The failure 
of relief measures in the Orissa famine also afforded 
occasion for considering the best form of 
government for Bengal, and opportunity wa* then 
taken to discuss the relations of the Presidency 
Governments with the Government of India. But 
the problem was not easy to solve. It was 
not possible to dissociate financial relations 
from the question of general central control. 
Prejudice, fear of innovation or exigencies of 
Imperial considerations, did not allow any radical 
change. 

When in 1868 this question was taken up the 
members of the Government of India as well as 
members of the India Council expressed their 
opinions. Excluding Sir F. Halliday who desired 
a return to the old conditions when the local 
Governors were left " to do their own work for 
themselves controlled wholly or chiefly in England," 1 
no one wished the abolition of the authority of 
the Governor General in Council. The main issue 
was how to continue "the two great objects" of 
maintaining "a great central authority 19 charged 
with "superintendence, direction and control of the 
whole civil and military government of India" and 
preserving "local efforts and local administration 91 
necessary "for all lasting improvements in 
government and for the greatest development of 

1 Memorandum by Sir F. Halliday, 16 December, 1867, 
(No. 2 P.P. 1868 Vol. 49.) 

P. 14 



106 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the different and differing nationalities of India. 11 * 
Conservative statesmen who believed that the 
British Government in India was standing on the 
edge of a precipice, desired further strengthening 
of the powers of the central authority or at least 
no change in the existing system. Whereas there 
were others who, being impressed by the altered 
situation, were prepared to relax control over the 
subordinate Governments, "for the purpose", as 
Northcote put it "not of weakening, but of 
strengthening the Government of India." He 
favoured this course because he thought it " important 
for the interests of the people of the Presidencies 
which are likely to be better attended to," and " for 
the sake of the Government of India, which is in 
danger of being overwhelmed with the constantly 
increasing mass of detail work consequent on its 
being charged with matters which might safely be 
left to the governments of the Presidencies." * 

Those who favoured loosening of control 
included besides the Secretary of State, Sir Bartle 
Frere, Mr. Arbuthnot, Sir Henry Maine, Mr. Taylor, 
Sir John Strachey, Sir William Mansfield and 
Mr. Grey, the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. 
They recommended a full government for Bengal 
and were in favour of withdrawal of the Government 
of India from a minute control over the details of 
local administration. They considered it important 



1 Memorandum by Sir Erskine Perry (No. 13 P. P. 
1868 Vol. 49). 

* Letter from Northcote to Sir F, Currie 14 November, 
1867. Ibid, 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DBCENTRALISATI&N 107 

that the Government of India must confine itself 
to general supervision and determination of all-India 
affairs. In legislation, they desired the local 
legislatures to 'undertake all provincial legislation, 
the Supreme Council being concerned only with the 
general laws. Criticising the proposal by the India 
Office Comittee for the abolition of the Legislative 
Council of Bengal, 1 Mr. Grey argued that the 
time had come when the "natives of the Province and 
the English residents have a reasonable claim to be 
admitted to a share..., a larger share, in framing 
their Municipal laws, or the laws which are necessary 
for the ordinary purposes of domestic administration". 
He held that it was not possible to have any 
semblance of representative element in the Central 
Council and so that body must confine itself to 
"general legislation, such as codes of general 
substantive law, codes of judicial procedure and 
other laws suitable for general application", subjects 
to be "properly carried on by a purely official 
body". Moreover, he pointed out "it is possible 
to look forward to a time when a local legislature 
or some such consultative body as that just asked 
for by the British Indian Association, shall take 
part in regulating the expenditure of local 'taxation. 
It is not possible, I think, that any agency of that 
sort can ever be usefully employed in connection 
with the General Budget of the Empire. 11 He 
desired the Governor General's Council to abstain 

1 Report of the Special Committee of the India Council, 
14 November 1867. (P. P. 1868, Vol. 49). 



108 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

from local legislation and suggested that the "North 
West Province must have a council of its own f 
and the restrictions imposed by the Indian Council's 
Act of 1861 on the discretion of Local Councils 
in local legislation should be waived aside". The 
Lieutenant Governor of Bengal went to the length 
of suggesting that the Governor General in Council 
should be divested of all direct administration as 
in the case of the Chief Commissionerships, for 
that u leads the Government of India insensibly 
to interfere with the internal administration of 
the Lieutenant Governorships to a greater extent 
than is necessary or desirable." He hoped to see 
"a more distinct and definite line established 
between the general superintendence which a 
great central authority should exercise, and that 
freedom of executive authority which should be 
entrusted with confidence and generosity to Local 
Governments." He recommended also greater 
latitude in financial administration. 1 

One main consideration of these statesmen was 
to lighten the work of the Central Government so 
that it could, with greater ease and effect, execute 
its function of general superintendence. They 
realised that for the due discharge of its responsibility 
for military, political and other imperial interests 
it was necessary to delegate authority to the Local 
Governments in matters relating to internal 
administration. The course of administrative 



1 Mr. Grey's Minute, 13 March 1868 (P.P. 1868 
Vol. 49) 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 109 

evolution had definitely marked off Imperial from 
Local or Provincial subjects. The advocates of 
the so called federalism based their proposals on 
this division. Chesney propounded a scheme in 
his "Indian Polity " by assigning Defence, Foreign 
and Political affairs, Imperial services like Post 
Office and Telegraph, as well as guaranteed 
Railways and Debt to the Central Government 
while leaving all other heads of public service to 
the Local Governments. 1 

With regard to general control over the provincial 
units, there were two views : first, that, as before 
1833, there should be three Presidency Governments, 
or if necessary one more should be added, which 
should be for all purposes in direct communication 
with the Secretary of State, and the Governor 
General being the head of one of the Governments 
should act merely as primus inter pares,* and second, 
that the general superintendence should vest in the 
Governor General who "should be the sole authority" 
in India "responsible to the Secretary of State/ 1 
and that " the Local Governments should not have 
the right of direct correspondence with the Home 
Government/' Sir W. Mansfield's assent tc 
"financial decentralisation'* was contingent on this 

1 Chesney: Indian Polity, Ch. III. Chesney did not 
consider a federation of independent states 

time, but was opposed to extreme central^ 
proposed to make the Local Govern men t 
revenue and expenditure. 

2 John Bright's speech, 24 June 18J 
I, pp. 50-55) Also Halliday. Opcit. 



ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL 

privilege being withdrawn from the Governments oi 
Madras and Bombay. 1 There was a strong feeling 
in the Government of India against the Presidency 
Governor approaching the Secretary of State 
otherwise than through the Supreme Government as 
was the case with the other Local Governments. 3 

In respect of financial control, also, 
decentralisation was suggested as the chief remedy 
for the inharmonious relations between the Supreme 
and the Local Governments, and the dislocation of 
finances resulting in constant deficits. 8 Almost 
everyone was agreed that the Local Governments 
must be allowed some discretion in settling their 
budget and managing their expenses. But different 
proposals were made to secure this end. While some 
recommended a complete separation of local and 
central finances, others were prepared only to extend 
the limit of the sanctioning power of the Local 
Governments in respect of the public works expenses 
and the entertainment of public establishments. 4 

1 Minute by Mansfield, 24 February, 1868 (P. P. Vol. 
49, 1868) 

8 See Notes by Bayley, Dickens and Muir in Public 
Proceedings, 7 December 1867. Sir John Lawrence did 
not see much barm in that and was prepared to allow 
it to continue. Mr. Taylor was not opposed to it but 
wanted modification so that references on all important 
matters like Army, Finance, Foreign relations etc. should 
be made through the Government of India. 

Between 1860 and 1870, there were six deficit years 
and four surplus years. 

* Sir C. Trevelyan etc. of the former and Lt. Col. 
Dickens and Mr. Muir in their Notes of the latter view 
(Public Pro. 7 December, 1867) 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 111 

Also as a means of freeing the Local Governments 
from the annoyance of central scrutiny and veto on 
their expenditure, "the principle of transferring the 
power of local taxation to a limited extent to the 
different Local Governments" was officially put forth. 1 
At the same time a more comprehensive sheme for 
the division of functions and the separation of the 
local from the central budget was discussed in the 
press and on the platform. 2 The advocates of this 
scheme had before them the model of the United 
States of America. They proposed that the Local 
Governments like the States in the other Hemisphere 
should own the revenues collected within their 
territories. But as the Central Government would 
manage the army, the diplomatic service and the 
debt, contributions should be made to that authority 
by the Local Governments out of their revenues for 
such general expenditure. Sir Charles Trevelyan, 
one of the advocates of this policy, said that " the 
principle of apportionment would be that the cost 
of civil administration would be a first charge upon 
the revenues, and that the surplus of the different 
Local Administrations would be drawn upon pro rata 
for the expenses of the Army and the other services, 
under the immediate direction of the Supreme 

1 Sir Stafford Northcote's speech in the House of 
Commons, 12 August 1867, Such schemes were proposed 
by Messrs. Wilson, Laing and Massey (Financial Statements 
I860, 1861-2, 1862-3, 1867-8). 

* Proceedings of the Bombay Association (Tracts. I. 
O. L. Vol. 512). Proceedings of the East India Association 
1870 ; George Campbell ; The Capital of India 1863 (Tracts 
VoL 503) etc. 



OKICINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Government" 2 Also that " the Supreme 
Government and the Local Government would each 
make up an annual Budget of its own, which would 
be fully discussed in their respective Councils," but 
the whole might be Compiled in one by the Supreme 
Government and submitted to the "Home 
Government " with the latter's remarks. This 
scheme was taken up by the Bombay Presidency 
Association which suggested it as a method of 
providing "a check in India against unnecessary 
increase of taxation and expenditure' 1 and of 
giving "to the representatives of different classes 
of Her Majesty's subjects an effective voice in the 
imposition of taxes, the disposal of revenues, and 
enactment of laws."* A similar plan was outlined 
by the "Hindu Patriot," an Indian Journal of 
Bengal. 8 



1 Trevelyan's Paper read before East India Association 
in 1870. 

8 Mr. Norowzjee Furdunjee's letter to Mr. Gladstone, 
London 21 December, 1870. (Minutes and Proceedings of 
of the Third Annual General Meeting of the Bombay 
Association, 5 October, 1871, p. 34) 

8 Quoted by R. Knight in "Decentralization of 
the Finances of India (1871) p. 8. "Our plan of 
decentralization is this we would separate all the imperial 
charges from the local budgets and exact a percentage as 
a sort of tribute from the Local Governments for the 
defrayal of imperial expenditure. This percentage the 
Local Government should be required to make a 
first charge upon their respective revenues, and any 
surplus should be applied to its own benefit" (Hindu 
Patriot), 



EARLIER SCHEMES OP DECENTRALISATION 113 

The Government of India too, was not idle. 

Being faced with the recurring deficits, the successive 

Financial Members of the Governor 

Earlier projects Genenil s Council, considered the 
of Financial 

Decentralisation best means of relieving the -central 
discussed by the exchequer by throwing a part of the 
of burden on the Local Governments 
or the local bodies. Without in 
any way diminishing the supreme control by the 
Government of India, they desired to minimise the 
occasions of conflict with the Presidency Governments 
and to tap sources of taxation which were sealed 
to the central authority. Starting from the proposal 
of Mr. Wilson for an income-tax of one per 
cent for strictly local purposes, in the appropriation 
of which the municipalities might have a voice, 1 we 
come to the more definite scheme of Mr. Laing for 
making over to the Local Governments certain 
objects for local taxation to meet local expenditure. 1 
He was convinced that the means for the internal 
development of the country could not be provided 
for from the central treasury, and so at a time when 
" Imperial allotment to the Local Governments " 
for public works had to be curtailed, he decided to 
give them " powers of local taxation " by which they 
might be able to raise the residue. These taxes were 
such as were inappropriate for general and uniform 

1 Provincial and Local Finance. Synopsis of Schemes 
18611872, p. 1. Financial Statement 1860. 

* Circular Letter, March 1861 to Local Governments ; 
also Financial Statement, 27 April 1861, 

F. 15 



J14 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

incidence. By this means he expected to afford 
relief to the Imperial Budget and obtain more money 
for expenditure. Other advantages of a permanent 
character were also claimed, the chief being a partial 
release of the Local Governments from the " galling 
and humiliating dependence on the bureaux of 
Calcutta. 1 ' Also by crediting " them with a liberal 
share of reductions of expenditure " he hoped to give 
them "a direct interest in economy." Moreover, "such 
a system of local budgets," it was his belief, "would 

harmonize extremely well with local Legislative 

Councils," and finally he thought it " would 
greatly foster the growth of Municipal institutions." 1 
This proposal met with a good response from the 
Local Governments, but the scheme could not be put 
into action for the reason that " it would have been 
manifestly improper to anticipate the action of the 
local Legislative Councils in a matter which is so 
peculiarly their province." 2 Mr. Laing, however, 
was in favour of breaking through "the system of 
barren uniformity and pedantic centralization" by 
giving to the Local Governments "the power 
and the responsibility of managing their own local 
affairs." He held that the great branches of 
revenue and expenditure must remain Imperial, 
but still there was " a wide field both of revenue 
and expenditure which is properly local and 
which must be met locally or not at all." 8 This 

1 Financial statement by Mr. Samuel Laing 1861-2. 
1 Financial statement by Mr. Samuel Laing 1862-63, 
8 Financial Statement 1862-3. 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 115 

plan was not pursued further, for with the return 
of solvency, the need which had stimulated thoughts 
of economy was over. But the prosperity was very 
temporary. In 1866 again the budget showed a 
deficit, which recurred in succeeding years. Mr. 
Massey who was then the Financial Member, took 
up the question anew and formulated a scheme by 
which Local Governments were required to take over 
Rs. 1,20,00,000 of imperial expenditure and then raise 
revenue by local taxation to meet it. The heads of 
charges proposed to be transferred for the purpose 
were Education, Police, Jails and Public Works, to 
be met out of the revenue from license tax, house tax, 
octroi and a succession duty. 1 He desired that the 
Local Governments should determine their own 
expenditure, so far as it concerned merely local 
objects and that they should provide " the ways and 
means for themselves. 11 * 

Howsoever laudable the spirit behind the 
proposal might have been, it could not secure the 
approval of the Local Governments, as it fell 
far short of their expectations and was considered 
to be less liberal than the plan of Mr. Laiog. 8 

1 Circular Letter (Finance) to Local Governments 
21 Feb. 1866. 

* Financial statement 1867-8. 

8 Bengal Government replied that Provincial taxation 
should be had recourse to not for the relief of Imperial 
finance but for the internal development of the country. 
(Letter dated 8 March 1866). The N. W. P. Government 
thought that the distribution of imperial charges was not 
fair and did not favour transfer of imperial charges to 
local account unless the local liability was clearly 
established and admitted (Letter dated 8th March, 1866). 



116 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Mr. Massey submitted a modified scheme in 
January 1867 for the transfer to Local 
Governments of a few heads of charge exclusively 
of a local character amounting in the aggregate 
to Rs. 80,00,000, accompanied by a license 
tax. That was assented to as an experimental 
measure but was postponed on account of the 
state of the finances 1 . A larger scheme, however, 
was soon developed in a Note by Colonel 
R. Strachey, and was placed before the Government 
of India for consideration by the Financial Member. 
"The main object" of this revised project "was 
to limit the expenditure under several heads, 
specially under the control of the Local 
Governments which exhibited a constant tendency 
to increase owing to the Government of India 
being practically unable to resist the demands 
or control the expenditure administered by the 
Local Governments. This was to be attained 
by creating a sense of financial responsibility in 
the Local Governments. The method proposed 
was to make over to the control of the Local 
Governments certain heads of charge, which were 
at first to be Jails, Registration, Stationery and 
Printing 9 a portion of Police, Education, Medical 

"Bombay first compared it with that of Mr. Laing's project, 
and concluded that where the earlier one contemplated 
new local taxation for fresh expenditure, Mr. Massey 
proposed it in relief of existing Imperial expenditure. 
(Letter dated 25 November, 1866) Madras Government 
thought the plan was not practicable (Letter 20 March, 
1866). 

- I Mr. Massey's Minute, 7 September 1867. 



EARLIER SCHEMES OP DECENTRALISATION 

and Miscellaneous, and certain Public Works 
charges, together with the charges of collection 
of the revenues to be transferred. To meet these 
charges revenues under the following heads were 
to be transferred Law and Justice, Police, 
Education, Miscellaneous and Public Works, and 
a share of Land Revenue, Income Tax and 
License Tax. The revenue and expenditure to 
be transferred were intended to be nearly equal 
in amount at the time of transfer; and the 
amount of revenue transferred was to be a final 
adjustment of the claims of the Local 
Governments for the transferred charges, any 
increase of charge was to be met by the Local 
Government either by retrenchment under some 
other head, by increase of the transferred revenue, 
or from local resources." 1 

The intention of Colonel Strachey was to place 
"the entire responsibility of managing the local 
revenues and expenditure" on the Local Governments*. 
He contemplated a change "of a much more organic 
character" as compared to the earlier proposals which 
transferred simply the local charges to the Local 
Governments for the relief of the central exchequer. 
That he even envisaged the eventual establishment of 
a modified form of federation in India seems likely 
from the following extract from his note : 

"The end to be aimed at by the Government 
of India should be to divest itself of all 



1 Finlay. Provl. Financial Arrangements, p. 7. 
1 Note by Col. Strachey, 17 August 1867. (Extracts 
in Finlay). 



ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONMY 

detailed concern with all those items of 
expenditure which pertain to the branches of the 
administration, the details of which it cannot, 
in fact, control. Thus I should conceive that the 
financial position of the central authority should 
by degrees be brought to assimilate generally to 
that erf the United States Central Government; 
though of course a power of supervision and 
control of a general nature must continue to be 
exercised over the finances of the separate local 
Administrations which has no existence in the 
case of America." 1 

The scheme was thoroughly discussed in the 
Governor General's Council, Mr. Maine welcomed 
it as a means of checking the extravagance of 
the Provincial Governments, and of applying 
brakes to the warlike propensities of the Central 
Government.* Sir William Mansfiled gave his 
approval also as the scheme by making "the 
Local Governments partners in the great joint 
stock of Indian Finances" would generate motives 
for economy in them. 8 It was supported by 
other members also, but the Viceroy and Sir 
Henry Durand opposed it. On being circulated to 
the Provincial Governments it was cordially 
approved by all the provinces except Madras as 
a step in the right direction. "The Government 
of Madras regarded the proposal as of too partial 



1 Strachey's Note 17 August 1867. (Finlay). 
* Maine's Minute, 13 September 1867. 
8 Minute by Mansfield, 17 October 1867, 



BARLIEK SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 119 

and inconclusive a character to justify a disturbance 
of the existing system of financial administration. 1 
The Board of Revenue there and Mr. Arbuthnot, 
then a member of the Executive Council, were for 
more complete decentralisation, such as might leave 
the residue of the revenues of the province at the 
disposal of the Local Government after deducting the 
annual contribution to the Government of India for 
central services. 2 In England also the response 
was favourable, and the Secretary of State for 
India as well as some members of the House of 
Commons welcomed it. 8 But the opposition of 
Sir John Lawrence, Sir Henry Durand and Lord 
Napier prevented 'its acceptance. 4 

These proposals for leaving greater responsibility 
to the Provincial Governments, whether in respect 
of administrative or financial matters, had their 
origin in the desire to secure harmony in the relations 
between the Supreme and the subordinate 
Governments, to afford relief to the former, and 
were "advocated in the interests of economy, plenty 
and equity." 5 Decentralisation in some degree was 
the keynote of all the schemes, though a few would 
go to the length of establishing a sort of federation 



1 Bannerji, p. 48. Thomas: Federal Finance in India, 
pp. 1601. 

1 The Secretary of the Board of Revenue's letter to 
Local Government, dated 27th January 1868. 

8 Debate on East India Accounts, 12 August 1867, 
specially Northcote's Speech, Hansard Vol. 189. p. 1406. 

4 Finlay, para 8. See Thomas: Federal Finance, pp, 
1624 for their views. 

' Ambedkar, Chapter II. 



120 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY - 

in India. The attack on them was made on the 
ground of practicability and expediency. Also, it was 
asserted by the other side that the evil of over- 
centralisation which had been so vociferously 
complained of, did not exist in fact. 1 And even if 
that was partially so, it was inevitable and essential. 
In one of his minutes, while discussing the proposed 
projects of financial decentralisation, Sir Henry 
Mortimer Durand gave clear expression to this 
view. 1 He regretted the lack of firmness in the 
Secretary of State in supporting the Government 
of India, and attributed to it the insubordination of 
the Government of Bombay as well as the complaints 
of interference which were so often heard in the 
Presidencies. He desired a strengthening of the 
authority of the Government of India so that its 
supervision might be real. He doubted the wisdom 
of delegating financial powers to the Local 
Governments for that without securing the ends so 
fondly cherished by the advocates of this view, 
would curtail the "power of the Supreme Government 
in the adaptation of expenditure to real requirements' 9 
to the extent that it would be u less and less able to 
meet great emergencies" and "the reality of its 
power will evaporate". That the measure would 
either repress the supposed warlike aggressiveness of 
the Government of India or would lead to harmonious 

1 See Notes by Muir, Dickens and Bayley and the 
Minutes of Durand and Lawrence. Public Proceedings 
7 December 1867. 

Minute, dated 7 October 1867, Pub. Pro. 28 Feb, 
1868 No. 154. 



EARLIER SCHEMES OP DECENTRALISATION 121 

relations with the Presidency Governments was a 
vain hope, 1 He criticised the argument of the 
other section relating to the analogy "between 
American States expenditure and that of Indian 
Local Administration" by drawing attention : to the 
fact that the federal system there was "based on the 
theory and practice of the control of the people or 
their representatives 11 . "There is" he wrote, "not 
a shadow of such control in the case of Indian 
administrations".* For all these reasons he was 
opposed to the proposed schemes of administrative 
or financial decentralisation. No doubt, he favoured 
some relaxation in matters of detail, but only so far 
as it was consistent with the unity of control. 
These views prevailed at the time and the opposition 
of Sir John Lawrence led to the existing system 
remaining undisturbed. 



1 In reply to Mr. Maine's contention he wrote ''If war, 
offensive or defensive, came upon us, no financial restraints, 
due to an arbitrary distribution of revenue, will make the 
difference of the fire of a single cartridge. War hangs on 

no such gossamer threads War, moreover, is no longer 

in the discretion of the Governor General who is by Act 
of Parliament compelled previously to take the orders 
of the Home Government before an aggresive shot can 
be fired. If so solemn a provision of an Act of Parliament 
should ever fail to restrain a Governor General, most 
certainly the delusive manacle of a fixed ratio of a share 
of revenue for a minor Government must prove ludicrously 
inadequate to curb his martial ardour". 

Also about the latter he wrote "The diminution of 
friction will be altogether ephemeral, if indeed there be 
any", (Minute 7 October 1867). Later events showed 
that Durand was right. 

8 Minute dated 7 October 1867, 
F. 16 



122 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Before describing the first definite measures 
towards provincial responsibility, 
Criticism of the . fa necessary to examine the 
various schemes. m J 

various schemes sketched above 

which aimed at removing the existing evils. One 
evil, as we have seen, was the jealousy of the 
Provincial Governments towards the controlling 
authority of the Government of India. Another was 
the uncertainty of the Indian finance owing to lack 
of economy and responsibility in the Local 
Governments. One remedy suggested was the 
separation of the budgets, the grant of the right of 
taxation to the Local Governments and the 
withdrawal of interference by the Government of 
India with their local concerns. Their aim was to 
establish a federation of provincial states ultimately. 
The very boldness of the project had a fascination 
for some, both at that time and later on. There is 
no doubt that it was a comprehensive scheme 
pregnant with great potentialities in the future. 
But it was wholly unsuited to the existing conditions. 
Theoretically, too, it was unsound. Federation 
presumes the existence of sovereign states which are 
accountable to no one outside. But the case was 
different in India in the sixties of the last century. 
The Parliament of England was the sovereign and 
all the governments in India, whether Central or 
Local, were responsible to it. There was no vestige 
of representative institutions in the provinces, and 
the executive was in no way responsible to the people 
there. Autonomous states could not be said to exist. 
As such, 3 fundamental condition of federation waa 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 123 

absent. In the absence of such popular control on 
the authority of the local executives, there were only 
two possibilities, either that the Secretary of State 
should maintain a close supervision on their activities 
to check any way-wardness, or that they should 
grow into irresponsible bureaucratic administrations. 
And as it would have been impossible for that 
distant authority in England to keep an efficient 
control over so many local administrations, the 
second and more unfortunate consequence was the 
more probable one* Secondly, howsoever necessary 
it might be to strengthen the Local Governments, 
the Government of India as yet could not afford to 
be weakened. Apart from military and political 
reasons, the very interest of uniform internal 
progress, good and just government, the blending 
of diverse sectional interests so as to create a sense 
of nationality, and the enforcement of due 
subordination of the administration to the wishes of 
the Parliament, all required a strong central 
government at the time. Thirdly, a clear 
demarcation of the functions of the Central and the 
Provincial Governments was difficult at that stage. 
Theoretically a division on the lines of Chesney's 
suggestion could be made, but in the existing 
immaturity of Indian administration, such allocation 
was bound to be imperfect and overlapping, and 
such defects would have caused conflicts more serious 
than before. Moreover, in the undeveloped state 
of many Local Administrations, the Government of 
India could not relinquish its closer control over 
them ; and if they were allowed to hang on the 



124 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Central Government, the projected federation would 
have been an anomaly, for the federal government 
should have been both a local as well as a central 
government simultaneously. Finally, so soon after 
the Mutiny when the situation was still uncertain 
both inside the country and beyond the frontier, the 
Government of India could not agree to any legal 
and permanent partition of the revenues and 
expenditure of India which might make it difficult 
for the Central Government to concentrate all the 
resources of the state on the object at stake in an 
emergency. It was too early, therefore, for the 
establishment of the autonomous provincial 
administrations grouped in a federation. 

The immediate problem was to concede greater 
liberty to the Local Governments in the management 
of the details of their administration, and to grant 
them a credit for their expenditure within which 
they could be left uncontrolled. This was in fact 
what they demanded. Also, there was pressing 
need for economy which it was felt could not be 
possible without entrusting some responsibility to 
the Local Governments. All these needs could be 
met by the proposals of Laing or Massey without 
having recourse to the extreme measure of divesting 
the Government of India of its financial and 
administrative supremacy. But the former of these 
provided only for an increase of taxation by resort 
to fresh local sources without affording any incentive 
for economy, the result of which would have 
naturally been an increase of burden on the people. 
The latter scheme in its revised form went so far 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 

as to create a suspicion that a separation of revenue 
between the Central and the Provincial Governments 
was intended, hence it met with a determined 
opposition. These earlier projects overshot the 
mark. What was needed at this stage was the 
grant of a moderate measure of responsibility to 
the Local Governments which would give them a 
motive for adjusting their growing expenses within 
the available means. Also that they should be 
given a restricted power of raising local taxes to 
meet local expenditure and thus give relief to the 
Central exchequer. 

When Lord Mayo assumed the Governor 

Generalship, the controversy was over, but not so 

the financial trouble. He had 

Lord Mayo's before him the pros pect of a huge 

Financial , _ . , , , , , 

Reform. deficit, to meet which he adopted 

"the unusual procedure of addition 
to taxation, in the midst of the fiscal year." 1 Also 
the Local Governments were asked to make efforts 
to reduce expenditure without affecting efficiency. 9 
The Viceroy ruled that the Budget grants must 
be regarded as final. 8 But even then the outlook 
was gloomy. Lord Mayo realised that a stage of 
financial disorganisation had been reached which 
required radical change. Analysing the causes of 
the existing situation he came to the conclusion that 

1 Ambedkar, p. 53. 

8 Circular letter to Local Governments (Financial Pro. 
No. 34, 13 May 1869). Hunter : Mayo, Vol. II, pp. 27-28. 

3 Hunter : Mayo, Vol. II, pp. 28-30, Personal note by 
Mayo, 21 July 1869. 



126 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the greatest necessity of the time was to make the 
Local Governments responsible for a part of the 
public expenditure, and to this purpose he directed 
his efforts. 1 

The first hint of the coming changes was 
given to the Provincial Governments in February 
1870 when some of them were told that the 
reduction of the grant for roads from Rs. 1,236,000 
to Rs, 850,000 was not a temporary measure but part 
of a settled policy, and so they might provide 
themselves from local sources with the "funds for the 
purpose of local roads, which could no longer be 
constructed from imperial grants." 2 Meanwhile 
the opposition of a section of the people had made 
the continuance of the Income Tax undesirable, 
for which reason the Government of India had 
to devise means to make good the loss accruing 
thereby. A discussion, which ultimately shaped 
Lord Mayo's measures, started in June 1870, and 
like the previous ones was "generated by financial 
necessities." 8 Sir Richard Temple pointed out 
the need for finding ten million rupees and 
"suggested that some heads of expenditure should 
be removed from the Imperial budget and made 
over to the Local Governments, who would be 
left to meet the funds by local taxation." 4 While 



1 Hunter, II pp. 40-41. 

2 H.D. Circular 21 Feb. 1870 ; Finlay, para 9. 
8 Finlay, para 11. 

* He proposed Jails, Education, Roads and, Police, 
four heads for the purpose. Minute, 23 June 1870; 
Finaly, para 11. 



EARLIER SCHRMSS OF DECENTRALISATION 127 

agreeing with the principle of the proposal, 
Strachey wanted the "responsibility and control 
of the Local Governments, as regards the details 
of their expenditure" to be increased. He was 
convinced that if "the Local Governments were 
freed from the trammels of the present irrational 
and irritating, and most extravagant system of 
financial control" there would be every desire 
on their part "to cooperate with the Government 
of India in the enforcement of a reasonable 
economy. 1 Lord Mayo considered the plan as 
conducive to economy, "to the avoidance of much 
administrative difficulty," and as leading to the 
institution "in various parts of the Empire of 
something in the shape of Self-Government" which 
"will eventually tend to associate more and more 
of the Natives of this country with ourselves in 
the conduct of public affairs/' 2 

He detailed his scheme according to which, 
to meet a deficit of 1J million, one million was 
to be thrown on local resources by making over 
to the control of the Local Governments the 
charges under Jail, Education, Roads, Civil 
Buildings and Police. To meet the expenditure 
on these heads amounting to Rs. 4,514,000 he 
"proposed to transfer the excise receipts of over two 
millions and a lump assignment of Rs. 1,500,000, 
leaving the Local Governments to find the 
remaining million." The Viceroy desired, 



1 Strachey's Minute 15 July 1870 ; Finlay, extracts, 
* Mayo's Minute July 1870 ; Pinlay, extracts 



186 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

nevertheless, to maintain stringent control on police 
administration, as well as to retain "control of a 
general character... over the whole levy of local 
taxation." 1 

The Viceroy's Council was agreeable to the 
scheme 2 and so it was referred to the Local 
Governments. 8 They were generally favourable to 
the proposals. But the Madras Government wanted 
the inclusion of more heads of expenditure in the 
arrangement so that the reductions made could be 
spread over more services. 4 By that means the 
Governor-in-Council believed the Local Governments 
would be entrusted with <c larger powers of control 
and more definite responsibility in the management 
of the principal branches of expenditure." He 
suggested also the delegation of power to the Local 

1 Finlay, para 13. 

8 Sir H, B. Ellis approved of the scheme if there be no 
reduction in the assignment under these items. (Minute 
22 July 1870). Finlay, para 14. 

8 Letters were despatched to Local Governments 
between 17 and 24 August 1870. The letter to Chief 
Commissioner of Oudh, No. 2933, 19 August 1870, and all 
letters were similar, gives a clear exposition of the proposals. 
(Public Proceedings, H. D 22 April 1871, No. 96-106) 

Suggestion for transferring Excise Revenues was 
dropped and the Departmental receipts were to be made 
over. The assignment was to be exactly equal to the net 
grant for the services minus one million. Also the 
advantages to be derived from it were described. 

* Proposed Land Revenue, Excise, Salt, Administration 
of Law and Justice, Medical Establishments, Ecclesiastical, 
Minor Departments. Miscellaneous and Public Works 
ordinary, to be transferred. 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 129 

Governments to create new posts and grant salaries 
to a limit of Rs. 250 per mensem. 1 The Chief 
Commissioner of Central Provinces went to the 
length of proposing that all the revenues should be 
credited to the Local Governments out of which they 
should contribute for the upkeep of the Central 
Government. 2 The replies of the Local Governments 
being generally satisfactory, the scheme was 
incorporated in the Resolution issued on 14th 
December 1870. 

The Resolution began by assigning reasons for 

the contemplated change. It pointed out the 

inconvenience of the divorce of 

The Resolution responsibility for ways and means 

of 14 December * \ . J 

1870 from actual disbursement of the 

funds, which had in the past led 
to repeated conflicts and very often loss to public 
service. Then the dictum was laid down that "it 
is expedient that, as far as possible, the obligation 
to find the funds necessary for administrative 
improvement should rest upon the authority whose 
immediate duty it is to devise such measures." 
Hence the departments of Jails, Registration, Police, 
Education. Medical Services (except medical 
establishments), Printing, Roads, Miscellaneous 
Public Improvements, and Civil Buildings, which 



i Letter from Madras to Government of India, Fin. 
Dept. No. 398, 27 September 1870 (H. D. Public Pros. 
29 Oct. 1870, Nos. 55-56). 

* Letter from C. P. to Government of India, Finance 
Department No. 2548-275, 20 September 1870 (Public 
H. D. Pros. April 22, 1871, No. 96-104). 

F. 17 



130 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

were considered to be of a local character, were 
transferred to the control of the Local Governments, 
as the expenditure in them had shown a tendency 
to rise, and also because the Supreme Government 
did not either "understand fully the local 
requirements" or possess "the knowledge necessary 
to the -successful development of local resources" to 
meet the growing charges in them. As the scheme 
had been adopted with a view to giving relief to 
the Imperial Exchequer, a fixed assignment less 
by a million than the budget provision for these heads 
in 1870-71 was made to the Local Governments, 
the balance to be provided either by retrenchment, 
re-distribution of expenditure or local taxation. The 
Local Governments were free to distribute the sum 
among the several departments at their discretion, 
and any savings made at the end of the year would 
not lapse to the Imperial revenues but would remain 
at their disposal. Separate budget estimates and 
accounts would be maintained for these services, 
which were to be known as "Provincial Services," 

Certain conditions were imposed so as "to restrict 
the powers of the Local Governments within the 
limits assigned by the Secretary of State to the 
powers of the Supreme Government of India 
itself; and so prevent a Local Government from 
embarrassing its neighbours by capricious or 
injudicious innovations." 1 Otherwise the Local 



Hunter Vol. pp. 54-55 

The financial control entrusted to the Local 

Government was subject tQ tbe following 

conditions ; 



fcARLIER SCHBltES OP DBCBNTRALISAtlON 131 

Governments were free to manage the administration 
and expenditure of the transferred services. It was 
hoped that "the additional powers of financial 
control" would "be accompanied by a corresponding 
increase of administrative responsibility." The 
Governor General in Council desired "to confine 
the interference of the Supreme Government in 
India in the administration of the "Provincial 
Services" to what is necessary for the discharge of 
that responsibility which the Viceroy in Council 

I. Without the previous sanction of the Government 

of India 

(1) No appointment could be created with a salary 
of more than Rs. 250 a month, and no addition 
could be made to the pay and allowances of any 
officer if they exceeded Rs. 250 a month. 

(2) No class or grade of officers could be created or 
abolished or the pay of any class or grade of 
officers be raised. 

(3) No addition could be made to the pay or 
allowances of any individual or class of officers, 
that would lead to increase in the emoluments of 
any public servants doing duty in the same 
province, whose pay would be charged to the 
Imperial revenues. The Government of India 
reserved the right to forbid alterations in rates of 
pay or allowances which, in its opinion would 
produce inconvenience in other provinces. 

(4) No moneys could be removed from the public 
treasuries for investment. 

II. The Rules of the Supreme Government in respect 
to leave, deputation and superannuation allowances 
should be observed. 

III. Returns, accounts and estimates should be submitted 
to the Supreme Government in such forms and at 
such terms, as might be prescribed. (Resolution 
No. 3334, dated 14 December 1870.) 



132 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

owes to the Queen and her responsible advisers, 
and for the purpose of securing adherence to the 
financial conditions now prescribed, and to the 
general policy of the Government of India." 

It was mentioned that the procedure of the 
departments of Jails, Registration and Police was 
"to a large extent governed by law", but there was no 
law on the subject of education. The policy of the 
Government, however, was "prescribed in despatches 
of the Secretary of State, the authority of which and 
of the rules sanctioned by the Government of India 
regarding grants- in-aid and other matters of general 
principle", would not be affected by the Resolution. 

The Governor General in Council believed that 
the Resolution would "effect a wide change in Indian 
administration", that it would "produce greater care 
and economy", would introduce "an element of 
certainty into the fiscal system" and would "lead to 
more harmony in action and feeling between the 
Supreme and Provincial Governments." The most 
important advantage which he hoped for was the 
application of "local interest, supervision and care" 
to these subjects which would "afford opportunities 
for the development of self-government, for 
strengthening municipal institutions, and for the 
association of natives and Europeans to a greater 
extent in the administration of affairs". He also 
desired that the provincial financial statement should 
where possible be made before the local Legislative 
Council. 

A copy of the Resolution was forwarded to the 
Secretary of State with the remark that it would "effect 



EARLIER SCHEMES OF DECENTRALISATION 133 

a most salutary reform in Indian administration. 1 
The Secretary of State approved the principles 
laid down by the Government of India, and desired 
the following objects to be kept in view in the 
administration of the transferred services ; "to secure 
the greatest degree of economy consistent with 
efficiency, to provide for the growing demands arising 
out of improved administration without materially 
increasing the burden of the people, and as far as 
possible, to secure the general concurrence of the 
local communities in the measures taken on their 
behalf/' He made it clear that the proposed 
arrangements were experimental and would, if 
necessary, be "subject to revision, either in principle 
or detail." 2 The scheme came into force in April 
1871, and the budget for the year 1871-72 was 
framed accordingly. The scope and extent of the 
proposals were explained at a meeting of the 
Legislative Council of the Governor General 8 It 
was the first concrete result of the discussions 
extending over more than twelve years, and became 
the basis for further developments in the direction 
of what is known as Provincial Responsibility. 1 



1 Government of India's Financial Despatch No. 265 
of 14 December J870. 

3 Financial Despatch from Secretary of State No. 5923, 
February 1871. 

' See debate on Budget Estimate 1871. 



CHAPTER IV 

DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887. 

Lord Mayo's scheme for the delegation of 
financial authority to the Local 

Governments became the startin S 
bable effects. point for subsequent progress in 

that direction. For the next few 
years the policy of the Government of India was 
to extend the powers, both administrative and 
financial, of the Local Governments as far as possible 
within the existing legal and constitutional system. 
That such extension could not go far proved 
effectively that nothing short of a fundamental 
alteration in the very principles of government 
in India could permit any considerable relaxation 
in the central control. The intention of the 
measures adopted in 1870 and later, in respect of 
financial arrangements could not be the establishment 
of autonomous provincial governments. They were 
merely administrative measures designed to reduce 
the work of the Central Government and to 
minimise the chances of conflict with subordinate 
Governments. 

The Resolution of 1870 transferred financial 
control over eight services to the Provincial 
Governments ; subject to the conditions stated earlier, 
which prevented the Local Governments from 
creating or abolishing any superior appointments, 

134 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 187Q-1887 

or any class or grade of officers, or from making 
any additions or alterations to the pay or 
allowances of officers that might affect the same 
class of officers in other provinces. 1 The Local 
Governments were not free to invest their money 
where they chose, and were subject to all 
budgetary rules and restrictions. 2 A lump sum was 
fixed for expenditure upon the tranferred 
departments, and they were given liberty to 
distribute it at their discretion among the different 
objects under those heads, though an estimate had 
to be submitted. 8 The Local Governments 
could not raise any taxes without the sanction 
of the Governor General in Council, could not 
increase the total charges on "Provincial Services" 
and could make no other substantial alterations. 4 
The only extension, therefore, in their financial 
powers was the possibility of transferring the 
funds under one head to another within the 
limits of the consolidated allotment, without the 
previous formal sanction of the Government of 
India. Thus Sir Charles Wingfield was right in 
stating that "not much increase of independent 
control was given." 5 



1 Resolution (Finance) 14 December 1870, para 21. 1 ; 
Financial Statement, 1871-72. 

* Resolution 14 December 1870, para 21. 

8 Ibid, para 18 and evidence of Sir Charles Wingfield, 
Ex-Chief Commissioner of Oudh, before the Select 
Committee on Indian Finance, 1872. Q 2101. 

4 Sir John Strachey : Observations on some questions 
of Indian Finance, 1873. p. 23 

Evidence of Wingfield; Q 2102. 



136 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

With regard to the entertainment of public 
establishments and the grant of allowances and 
salaries, Sir Richard Temple, while explaining the 
scope of the Resolution in his financial statement 
enunciated the principle that "the regulation of 
salaries, of rates of pay, even the lowest of allowances 
and pecuniary privileges, must remain with the 
Supreme Government." He held that "strictness 
in this respect is essential", and so a check by the 
Government of India was indispensable to prevent 
excessive differences between one province and 
another which would lead to financial embarrassment." 
The Supreme Government did not part "with any 
of those powers which are needed for the preservation 
of financial order throughout India." 1 No revenues, 
except the departmental receipts, were given to the 
Local Governments and thus what was conceded 
to them was only "control over certain allotted items 
of expenditure."* Control of a general character was 
retained by the Government of India over the levy 
of local taxation. A measure of so partial a 
character perhaps hardly deserves the high sounding 
title of a "Decentralisation Scheme", and we are 
informed by Strachey that the father of the scheme, 
Lord Mayo, always protested against this phrase. 
The Viceroy was "opposed to the very idea of 
federal isation", and "to him the maintenance of the 
authority of the Central Government was of vital 

1 Temple's Financial Statement 1871-72. 
9 Wingfield. Hansard Debates February 24, 1871, 
pp. 902-6. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 137 

importance." 1 There was to be no disintegration 
either of finances or of administration. The 
Government of India did not relax any control which 
it could usefully exercise. To a great extent thus, 
the Resolution systematised the practice which had 
developed recently and was in vogue at the time. 

However, the implication is not that the reform 
was either unnecessary or profitless. It served the 
purpose for which it was adopted. While securing 
immediate relief to Imperial finances, it made for 
greater harmony and economy, generated by 
responsibility in public administration. Not only was 
the Government of India able to reduce its budget by 
a sum of Rs. 33,08,000 but it was also relieved of 
u all prospective charges, beyond the reduced sum " 
granted to the Local Governments ; and as the 
charges transferred were such as had shown a 
tendency to rise, the advantage to the Central 
Government was considerable. A hope was at the 
same time expressed that the projected system 
would " teach the people to take a practical share 
in provincial finance, and lead them up gradually 
towards a degree of local self-government. "* The 
procedure envisaged was the presentation of the 
provincial financial statement to the provincial 
Legislative Council and the formation of local 
committees comprised of non-officials and officials, 
which would manage the expenditure on local objects 
like sanitation, roads etc. 8 



* Strachey's Minute on Lord Mayo's Administration, 
51. * Financial statement 1871-72. 
8 Resolution 14 December 1870, para 19 ; Lord Mayo's 

F. 18 



138 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

The inclusion of the scheme for local taxation 
with the delegation of financial powers to the 
Provincial Governments made it essential to 
associate the non-official element with the 
Government for one important concern at this time 
was to raise taxes without creating discontent among 
the people. Some statsemen clearly realised the 
need of this step. Sir William Muir, who was then 
the Lieutenant Governor of the North Western 
Provinces, demanded a Legislative Council for his 
province, for, as he wrote, " if this Government is to 
be responsible for so large a local revenue, it should 
be armed with corresponding legislative power." He 
felt also that if the control by the Government of 
India were relaxed "over several departments 
especially involving questions of finance " control by 
a Legislative Council should be substituted. 1 Others 
in England also were of the same opinion. 1 
Advanced Indian public opinion saw in the paragraph 
of the Resolution containing the pious hopes of the 
Viceroy the only redeeming feature of the proposal. 8 

Memorandum dated 2 June 1871 and discussion on Madras 
letter (Finance)No. 147 dated 15 April 1871. (Papers 
relating to the Constitution and Functions of the Indian 
Legislative Councils 1886, pp. 287-300). 

1 Letter from N.W.P. to Government of India 
No. 1284 A, 15 September 1870 (H.D. Public Pro. 22 
Octobe 1870, No. 50). 

8 Sir Charles Wingfield, Sir Charles Trevelyan etc. 

8 Quarterly Journal of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha* 
Vol. IV. No. 4, 1881, p. 5. Mr. Ranade wrote in l893 f "it 
is in this light that the highest moral interest attaches in 
the history of the development of provincial finance. 19 
Ranade: A Note on the Decentralisation of Provincial 
Finwce, 1894. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 13$ 

But these hopes did not materialise. The provincial 
financial statement was not regularly made before 
the Councils even where they existed, and no effort 
was made to increase the number of such Councils 
or to extend the non-official element in them. Any 
control by the representatives of the people over 
finance was out of the question. The scheme 
contemplated promoting local self-government by 
strengthening municipal institutions. But it was a 
vain hope because the domination of the officials 
over these institutions failed to evoke the cooperation 
of the people. We cannot therefore pronounce a 
more favourable verdict upon the reform of 1870 
than to describe it as " advantageous to the Imperial 
budget of British India. 1 ' 1 

The scheme was not without serious drawbacks, 
and these were pointed out by the Local Governments 
and at the Parliamentary enquiry 
Drawbacks. The first was that 



the assignment of Imperial revenue for provincial 
expenditure was based on the grants actually made 
in a year of financial stringency "when expenditure 
was low", and hence could not provide scope for the 



1 Temple: Financial Statement 1871-72. 

1 Madras letter (Finance) No. 398, dated 27 September 
1870; North Western Provinces letter No. 1284A, 
15 September 1870 (Public Proceedings, October, 1870); 
Reports on the Plan of Assignments for Provincial Service 
introduced by Lord Mayo's Resolution of 14 December 
1870, (1873) containing the views of the different Local 
Governments; Evidence before the Select Committee on 
Indian Finance 1872*3 specially of Massey, Trevelyan and 
Wingfleld. Debate in the House of Commons dated 24 
February 1871. (Hansard) 



140 ORIGINS Of PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

development of provincial services without recourse 
to fresh local taxation. 1 Secondly, the allotment 
of funds to the Local Governments was inequitable 
as it was not determined by the actual needs or 
resources of the various provinces, but was 
proportionate to the actual expenditure of the 
different governments. 9 Such a basis of allotment 
gave advantage to the clamorous governments in the 
past. It must be admitted, however, in fairness to 
the authors of the scheme that any attempt at 
equitable allocation of funds might have provoked 
so great a controversy that the whole project would 
have wrecked. Thirdly, objection was taken to the 
rigidity of the assignment, as offering no inducement 
to economy. 8 Further, Sir Charles Trevelyan feared 
that "no self-adjusting principle is provided 
between the services which have been transferred 
to the Local Governments, and those which 
have been retained by the Central Government 
or rather between the funds applicable to each. 11 
There might be a deficit in one and a 

1 Minute by Mr.Eden, Chief Commissioner of British 
Burma dated 23 March 1872. (Reports etc. p 15.) 

' Madras letter No. 45 dated 9 January 1873 
(Reports etc. p. 51); Lord Napier's Minute dated 3 May 
1872 (Finlay, Extracts). 

8 The Punjab Government objected to fixed assignments 
and desired that the allotments from the Imperial revenue 
should be fluctuating (Letter No. 1542 of 3 December 
1872). But North Western Provinces Government 
welcomed the arrangement as the appropriations for the 
provincial services would be secured against failure 
(N. W. P Letter No. 2047A of 25 December 1872) 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-188? 141 

surplus in another. "That want of harmony, and 
want of mutual arrangement is a decisive objection. 1 " 
This last criticism of the Ex-Finance Minister 
ignored an essential feature of the scheme which 
aimed at separating provincial services and 
restricting the liability of the Central Government 
for expenditure on them to a fixed sum, for which 
reason there was no need for any automatic 
adjustment between the transferred and the other 
departments. Finally, the provisions about raising 
local taxes by the Local Governments laid the 
scheme open to the charge of being burdensome to 
the people. The Government denied that JocaJ 
taxation had increased direct Jy owing to the new 
scheme. But though it is very difficult to disprove 
that statement, it is a fact that substantial additions 
were made at the time to the local rates in Bombay 
and other provinces. Lord Mayo's Government was 
distinctly in favour of this method of raising revenue.* 
The local administrators tried to compensate for 
the reductions in the Imperial grant by new imposts, 
and thus that purpose of economy in expenditure for 
which the project was conceived was partly defeated. 

1 Trevelyan's Evidence;, Q 856. 

8 750000 per annum of fresh provincial taxation 
was imposed in various provinces (Financial Statement 
1872-73). Sir John Strachey's statement seems quite 
reasonable; that there was no direct connection between 
fresh local taxation and the decentralisation scheme 
of 1870, and that Lord Mayo sanctioned local taxation 
to help the reduction of incometax as a lesser evil. 
(Observations on some questions of Indian Finance 1873* 
p.12) ; Evidence of Sir R. Strachey in 1872, Q. 6711; 
Hunter, Vol. II, p. 72. 



OfclGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUfONOltY 

Yet in spite of all these defects, the reform met 
with success, as it eliminated, for the time being, 
"occasions for conflict between the Supreme and 
the Local Governments." 1 The latter reported 
unqualified success of the scheme, which they said 
had effected harmony, efficiency and in some 
provinces such economy as had not been possible 
before.* There was, at the same time, more 
certainty in Imperial finances, and the Government 
of India was able to shift its annoying burden on 
to the shoulders of the Local Governments. Lord 
Mayo "secured the equilibrium of the finances, 
but the burden was merely readjusted, not 
removed." 8 It is no wonder then that the measure 
did not evoke great enthusiasm among the people 
of the country for they could see no good to 

1 Mr. Chapman, Financial Secretary to Government 
of India, after four years' experience in working this 
measure, writes as follows : "The reform thus introduced 
has been thoroughly successful*. eit is now generally 
acknowledged that its effects have been to promote a 
good understanding between the Supreme and the Local 
Governments; to increase the interests of the latter 
Governments in their work; to enlarge their power to do 
good; and to relieve the Imperial ex-chequer from an old 
class of urgent demand. These results have been 
obtained without sacrifice of the authority and dignity 
of the Government of India, and without auy tendency 
to financial disintegration." Hunter, Vol. II, p. 61; 
Bengal letter No. 5309 (revenue) dated 14 December 
1872. 

* Letters of the Local Governments in the Government 
selection entitled "Reports on the Plan of Assignments 
for Provl. Servises introduced by Lord Mayo." For a 
summary see Bannerji pp. 82-85. 

Hunter, Vol. II, p. 73. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 143 

themselves. Nor could the federalists be zealous 
about it as the scheme was of too partial and 
imperfect a character, though some of them 
recognised that the beginning was in the right 
direction. 

The Local Governments were given freedom 
only in respect of some details of administration. 
The general control by the Government of India 
remained intact, and the statement that the 
Governor General in Council would exercise it 
only in so far as was necessary for the discharge 
of his responsibility to the Queen and the Parliament, 
or for securing adherence to the general policy of 
the Government of India, affirmed this in clear 
terms. 1 In fact any measure howsoever trivial 
may involve the interposition of the Supreme 
Government under one or other of these two 
conditions. Nevertheless, in the existing constitution 
of British India the project, though narrow, 
commenced the process of solving the thorny question 
of the relations between the Supreme and the 
subordinate Governments. 2 

Before the scheme could actually come into 
operation the Government of India 

Directions in added a few minor heads to the 
which the scheme . . , . r , , 

could be exten- services already transferred, and 

ded. made additions to the allotments 

i Resolution of 14 December 1870, para 25 

* Strachey wrote "The object at which the Government 

aimed in introducing the new system of provincial 

assignments wasto make better practical arrangements for 

meeting actually existing charges/ 9 (Minute 27 July 1872) 



144 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

as well. 1 Its working however revealed the 
direction in which future extension was possible. 
In their reports on the results of the operations 
of 1871, the Local Governments dwelt on this 
subject. They asked that more departments might 
be transferred to their control and that a share 
of Imperial revenues might be assigned to them 
instead of a lump sum. The Madras Government 
had given a list of such subjects in 1870 which 
included all matters of provincial administration. 8 
The Lieutenant Governor of the North Western 
Provinces was "of opinion that all the services 
provincially administered might advantageously be 
treated upon the same principle," and especially 
desired the transfer of Forest and Irrigation 8 . 

1 Resolution of the Government of India. Fin. Dept. 
20 March 1871. 

Transferred the charge for (1) Petty Construction 
and Repair of Civil Buildings, except the Opium 
Department in Bengal and the Salt Department 
outside it, and (2) all medical services other than the 
consolidated pay of medical officers. Also all travelling 
allowances and the charges for (a) salaries of medical 
officers of medical colleges, central jails and lunatic 
asylums at the Presidency Towns (b) extra allowances to 
medical officers for the medical charge of lunatic 
asylums in the mufassil, and for the executive charge 
of jails, (c) Sub Assistant Surgeons and apothecaries, 
employed in other than the civil medical charge of the 
Sudder Stations of Districts and all other subordinate 
medical establishments. 

* Madras letter Fin. Dept. No. 398 of 27 Sept. 1870 
and No. 45 of 9 January 1873. 

N. W. P. Letters No. 2047A of 25 December 1872 
and No. 764A of 11 May 1872. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 145 

The Bengal Government also recommended that 
Judicial, Revenue and Executive Services should be 
provincialised. 1 At the same time, some of the 
Local Governments felt that for the success of the 
measure some revenues should be transferred 
to the Local Governments. The Bengal 
Government suggested Income-Tax, Stamps and 
Court Fees for the purpose, as well as a percentage 
of the other revenues.* The Punjab Government 
desired one-sixth of all Imperial revenues collected 
in the province to be given to it as its share 
in place of a fixed annual assignment 8 . It was 
claimed that the fluctuating allotments would 
afford better means for local expenditure, and 
would obviate the need for local taxation. Also, 
the Government of India would gain thereby as 
the local officers would have an interest in increasing 
the output of all revenues, local as well as Imperial. 
The Local Governments hoped that the proposed 
arrangement would materially improve the scheme 
and would give them more scope for administrative 
freedom. They also complained of the illiberality of 
the restrictions on their financial and administrative 
powers and desired greater relaxation of 
administrative control by the Government of India. 
The conditions particularised in para 21 of the 
Resolution of 14 December 1870 and especially Rules 
1 and 2 relating to the creation of new offices, it was 



i Bengal Letter No. 5309 Rev. of 14 Dec. 1872 
* Ibid 

8 Punjab Letter No. 125 of 16 Feb. 1871. Same demand 
was reiterated in Letter No, 1542 of 3 December 1872. 

F. 19 



146 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

said, unnecessarily hampered the independent action 
of the Local Governments. 

The lines for future development being thus 

indicated, Sir John Strachey formulated a plan 

in 1872 by which the principle of 

Extension L orc j Mayo's Resolution could be 

1877-1882. , , , . 

extended to the revenues as well. 1 

But as there was no pressing financial necessity at 
the time, it was shelved and nothing was heard of 
it before 1877. The intervening years saw two 
severe famines, as well as the beginning of the period 
of fall in the exchange. Though the Government 
was able to pay its way by relegating expenditure 
on famine and unproductive public works to the 
loan account, it was clear that the finances were not 
in a sound condition. 2 There was need for making 
provision for famine expenditure and unproductive 
public works out of the ordinary revenues and 
so Lord Northbrook's Government decided to 
maintain for the future a considerable surplus of 
income over ordinary expenditure. 8 There were 
other demands too, especially for administrative 
improvements, and for the abolition of the import 
duty on cotton goods, promised by the Secretary 
of State; and these required strengthening of the 
revenues. Only three means were open by which 
the financial position could be bettered, namely, 
" fresh taxation, reduction of expenditure, or increased 

l Strachey's Minute dated 27 July 1872 ; Finlay, para 
28 ; Financial Statement 1877-78, 

* Financial Statement 1875-76 and 1877-78. 
8 Financial Statement 1877-78. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1$>(M88? 

productiveness of the existing sources of revenue, 
or a combination of these means." The Government 
of India was reluctant to resort to the first as a 
general Imperial taxation provoked discontent, and 
the second was not possible for the increase in 
military expenditure was not within the control of 
the Government of India. The only alternative left 
was the third. The administration of revenues and 
civil expenditure was carried on by the Provincial 
Governments, which alone, it was hoped, by greater 
energy, better supervision and closer interest could 
make existing revenues yield more. 1 

Sir John Strachey, then the Financial Member, 
believed that such good administration would be 
possible only when the Local Governments and their 
officers " have a direct, and so to speak, a personal 
interest in efficient management, 11 that is, when they 
would feel that " good administration of the excise 
and stamps and other branches of revenue will give 
to them, and not only to the Government of India, 
increased income and increased means of carrying 
out the improvements which they have at heart/ 1 
He was confident that " the local authorities take 
little interest in looking after the financial affairs of 
that abstraction, the Supreme Government," For 
these reasons the Governor General in Council 
decided to apply the principle of decentralisation 
to selected items of revenue as well.* 

1 Financial Statement, 1877-78 

* See Financial Statement 1877-78 for the details and 
principles of the new settlement. 



148 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Owing to the famine in Madras and Bombay, 
it was not thought proper to make any fresh 
settlement with them immediately. But arrangements 
were made in 1877 with the Governments of Oudh, 
North Western Provinces and Bengal by which some 
heads of revenue (excise, stamps, law and justice) and 
the entire provincial expenditure were made over to 
them after reserving "as Imperial only those subjects 
which for some particular reason it was inconvenient 
to transfer to provincial management and 
responsibility." 1 The transferred revenues and 
expenditure were calculated on the figures of the 
year 1877-78. A retrenchment from total expenditure 
in each case was secured. But as the " normal 
estimated yield of the ceded revenues fell short 
of the requirements/ 1 an u adjusting assignment " for 
each province was fixed for a limited period out of 
the reserved Imperial revenues. If the Local 
Government spent less than that sum in a year, 
the difference was to be added to its balance, while 
any increase above that sum was to be deducted 
from that balance. The settlement with the North 
Western Provinces was for two years, but with 
Bengal for five years, after which it was to be 
revised so as to enable the Supreme Government 
to share in any growth of revenues during the period. 
It was extended also to the other Local Governments 

1 Letter to Bengal No. 1899 Fin, 29 March 1877. 
Land revenue, Administration, Law and Justice and 
Miscellaneous were the additional heads of expenditure 
which were transferred to N, W. P. Government. (Fiolay, 
para 2.) 



bBCENTRAilSATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 149 

except Madras, which refused to have it if it 
involved retrenchment or advantage to the Central 
Government. 1 

The Governments of Burma and Assam entered 
into the new scheme in 1879. In their case no 
retrenchment was made and the settlement was 
for five years. But " the new feature in these two 
contracts was that the equilibrium between the 
provincial revenue and expenditure was secured, not 
by the grant of a lump assignment to make good 
the difference between the expenditure and revenue 
made provincial, but by the grant of a share in 
the reserved Imperial revenues." In other respects 
they were similar to the others. 2 At the same time 
some Local Governments were made responsible 
for their productive public works, the money for 
which was advanced by the Central Government, 
but the interest and expenses were to be charged 
to the former. 8 

The agreements made in 1877 were to terminate 
in March 1882. The Local Governments had 
availed themselves freely of their resources under 
the new system of finance, but still these were found 
insufficient in many cases, and demands were 
made on the Government of India for separate 
consideration. 4 In order to "secure an early 



1 Finlay, para 36. 

* Finaly, para 38 ; Resolution (Finance) No. 1488 
dated 26 March 1879. 

8 Finlay, para 37 ; Financial Statement 1878-1879, 
Finance Committee Report 1886, Vol. I, p. 12. 

4 Financial Statement 1882-83. 



ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOM* 

establishment of the decentralisation system in all 
the provinces on a uniform and extended basis," 
the Government of India decided to have a general 
revision in 1882. 1 The Resolutions of 30 September 
1881 and 17 January 1882 explained the main 
features of the new general contract. It was agreed 
that the principle of the settlement with Burma 
should be applied to the whole of India.* The 
entire field of the revenues and expenditure of India 
was classified in three divisions, wholly Imperial 
wholly Provincial, and Joint or Divided. Certain 
heads of revenue and expenditure, " as few in number 
as possible, wholly or with minute local exceptions 
only, were reserved as Imperial ; others were divided 
in proportions for the most part equal between 
Imperial and Provincial, the rest were wholly, or 
with minute local exceptions only, made Provincial." 
The balance of revenues and charges which were thus 
made over to the Local Governments, being against 
them, this was rectified in each case by the grant of 
a fixed percentage on its Land Revenue (otherwise 
reserved as Imperial), except in the case of Burma 
where the rice export duty and salt revenue were 
drawn upon for the purpose. Consolidated allotments 
to secure equilibrium in the provincial budgets were 
discontinued, and thus greater elasticity was provided 
in them. The contract was made for five years, 
at the end of which period it was to be subject " to 
any revision which the wants of Imperial revenues 

1 Resolution No. 3353, 30 Sept. 1881. 
8 Resolution, 30 Sept. 1881 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 151 

or the needs of other provinces might render 
expedient." 1 Also the relations of the Supreme 
and Local Governments " in respect to war and 
famine " were clearly defined. It was laid down 
that in case of famine, the Local Government could 
not expect any assistance from the Imperial revenues 
unless its own available resources were completely 
exhausted. In the case of war, the Government of 
India declared " that it will make no demand on 
the Provincial Governments except in the case 
of disaster so abnormal as to exhaust the Imperial 
reserves and resources, and to necessitate the 
suspension of the entire machinery of public 
improvement throughout the Empire." 2 

By these means a sort of finality was given to 
the contracts for a limited period. The creation of 
the head " Divided ff was a new feature in these 
arrangements. The quinquennial contracts thus 
established remained the basis of financial relations 
between the Central and the Local Governments 

* Fmiay, para 41; Memorandum on the Financial 
Administration of British India under Lord Ripon 1884 
(official Report) p. 18; Financial Statement 1882-3, paras, 
38-42. 

* Resolution (Finance) No.3353, 30 September 1881 f 
paras 6-8. 

For Famine relief it was laid down that provincial 
ordinary revenues must be exhausted, 2/3 of the balance 
be drawn upon and 1/4 of the margin of provincialised 
income be spent, before the Government of India would 
step in (para 8). 

Regarding war, the Secretary of State desired to 
modify it to a necessity when no course but of extra-taxation 
which may be inexpedient was left (Despatch 29 July 
1886/ 



152 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

until the beginning of the next century. The first 
revision was made in 1887, when owing to the needs 
of the Supreme Government, some changes were 
effected in the "Divided Head "so as to increase 
its share of the revenues. 1 On the recommendation 
of the Finance Committee,* appointed for the 
purpose, some retrenchments were secured in 
provincial expenditure which were taken into account 
in making the contract. 8 

This expansion of provincial finance was 
accompanied by a certain limitation of the powers of 
the Local Governments, In addition to the principal 
conditions of 1870, more were added in 1877 which 
had the effect of restricting their independent action 
and of securing proper supervision and control by 
the Government of India. 4 The new Rules, 
besides reaffirming the previous checks relating to 
creation of posts etc., imposed fresh obligations 
respecting provincial estimates , and balances. Local 
Governments were forbidden to exhaust their balances 
in the Imperial treasury or to budget beyond the funds 
at their disposal. 5 They were bound to observe 
all the standing orders and rules of the Supreme 

1 Financial statement 1887-8. 

* Report of the Finance Committee 1886, 2 Vols. 
appointed by the Resolution of 10 February 1886. 

8 Summary of the Principal Measures during the 
Viceroyalty of Lord Duffer in in the Department of 
Finance and Commerce, Vol. IV. p. 33. 

4 Resolution No. 1709,22 March 1877; Financial 
Statement 1877-78. 

Resolution 22 March 1877, Rule VIII, 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 153 

Government gradually embodied in financial 
codes such as the Civil Account Code and 
Civil Service Regulations. 1 Further they were 
required to submit their annual accounts and 
estimates to the Supreme Government. 2 Nor during 
the year were they allowed " at their own discretion 
and without communication to the Government of 
India to spend even from balances at their credit, 
more than the total amount " included in the 
estimates. 8 The reason given for this restriction 
was that the Government of India being responsible 
for ways and means, must have intimation of any 
proposed withdrawals from the treasury. Local 
Governments were not competent to order the 
removal of any funds whether local or provincial, 
from the treasury for investment elsewhere, without 
previous sanction of the Government of India, 4 for 
the latter had not relinquished its " absolute and 

1 Resolution, 22 March, 1877; Rule III 

8 Ibid, Rule XL About these Rules Mr. Ranade writes, 
"the whole drift of these rules appears clearly to strengthen 
the control and increase the subordination of the Local 
Governments to the Supreme Government, and to that 
extent the spirit of these rules contrasts strikingly with 
those of 1871." This he ascribes to Sir John Strachey 
being at the head of the Finance Department. Mr. Ranade's 
remark about the increase of control is not an exaggeration, 
Ranade: Note on .Decentralisation. 

1 Resolution, Finance, No. 2857 of 12 September 1878. 
This principle applied with equal force to ordinary 
current expenditure and to expenditure from provincial 
revenue and balances. 

* Resolution No. 2055 Finl. Dept. 25 July 1877. Later, 
exceptions: Dispensary Funds, Municipal and Post Funds 
or Trust and Endowment Funds (Resolution No. 680 
4 Feb. 1878 and No. 1805 of 25 July 1878), 

- on 



154 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

unconditional control over all money in the public 
treasury. 1 ' 1 In the case of productive public works 
too which had now been made over to fl the use and 
responsibiltiy " of the Local Governments, conditions 
were laid down which controlled their action. The 
Government of India reserved to itself the right of 
fixing the yearly grants for capital outlay on 
provincial works in each province and required a 
preliminary report "indicating clearly the scope of 
the project if the estimated cost was below 10 lakhs 
of rupees, and detailed plans and estimates if 
beyond that sum," for sanction and final orders. 
The inspection of such works during their construction 
was to be made by Imperial officers 2 The Local 
Governments were not given borrowing powers but 
they could issue debentures for provincial works, 
under the rules made by the Supreme Government. 8 

With Lord Mayo's scheme as developed by 
Strachey and Baring may be said to have commenced 

the system of "Provincial Finance." 
the Reforms 6 What was the nature of that 

system? Were the Provincial 
Governments given any independent financial 
organisation such as is associated with sovereign 
states, or were they still "the agents of the 
Government of India ?" Were any beginnings made 

1 Rule (8), Resolution, 22 March 1877. 

a Rules issued by Government of India in P.W.D. 
on 20 March 1878. (Selection of Decentralisation Papers 
LVHI.pp. 176-184) 

* Resolution, Fin. Dept, No, 1868 of 15 March 1878, 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 155 

towards federal finance or was it * still a centralised 
system? What effect did these changes have on 
the administrative practice or constitutional position 
of the Government of India? The answer to these 
questions will reveal the underlying principles of the 
scheme and show the character of the authority 
exercised by the Local Governments. 

It may be pointed out that common belief as 
well as Provincial Governments' estimate of their 
position was very different from the actual facts. 
Dr. Ambedkar has rightly criticised the popular 
notion "that the Indian system was one of separation 
of sources and contributions from the yield." To 
this conclusion he was led by the absence of change 
in the legal relationship of the Government of 
India to the Provincial Governments, the limited 
character of the financial discretion allowed them, 
and the periodical revision of the contracts 
in the interest of the central finance. 1 The 
Provincial Governments were in fact from time to 
time reminded of their actual position by the 
Supreme Government, in a manner which left no 
doubt as to the object of the measures adopted.* 
That there was no separation of the finances is 
evident from the alteration in the form of accounts 



1 Ambedkar: The Evolution of Provincial Finance, 
pp. 152-161. 

2 Financial Statement 1877-78: Resolution (Finance) 
No. 318, 17 January 1882 para 7: Finlay, para 12 and 
extracts XX para 8-11 and XXIV para 2; Financial 
Statement 1887-88, paras 22, 23, 26, 39 and 43; Abo 
letter (Finance) No. 284 dated 14 January 1882 to the 
Government of Bengal, etc. 



156 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

made in 1877, when the provincial details of revenue 
and expenditure, separated from Imperial acaounts 
and estimates in 1871, were reincorporated with 
the latter, so as to "enable the Government of India 
to control the revenue and expenditure, and the 
public to criticise the accounts more effectually than 
heretofore." * The Government of India did not 
accept the right of the Local Governments to the 
uninterrupted use of the revenues assigned to them 
under the settlement, but regarded that only as a 
"surrender (of revenue) for a period to the Provincial 
Governments in order to enable them to meet 
whatever expenditure is essential to the conduct of 
administration", after providing for the needs of the 
Central Government itself. 2 It did not "give up 
its prior claims upon the revenues" of the country 
owing to its responsibility for the important all-India 
services. It could not do otherwise as long as "the 
finances of the Supreme and of the several Local 
Governments have to be administered as part of a 
single system. 118 

Nor was any change involved in the constitutional 
position. The Act of 1833 was still in force, and 



1 Financial Statement 1877-78. 

* Financial Resolution No. 458, 28 January 1887, 
"The Government of India, therefore, while it continues to 

be responsible for these charges (Defence Dept. and Home 
Charges) cannot give up its prior claims upon the 
revenues from which they are to be met, and in framing 
the Provincial Contracts, the Government of India sets 
apart, for a specified period only, so much of its revenues 
as it can reasonably expect to spare, to meet the civil 
expenditure placed under provincial control" (para. 3) 

Financial Resloution, 28 January 1887, 



DECENTRALlSAtlON IN ACTION 1870-1887 157 

the Government of India made it clear in 1878 that 
because of the new procedure it "has not 
contemplated the abrogation of the constitutional 
responsibility imposed upon it, of exercising a 
general executive supervision over the proceedings 
of the Local Governments in the collection of the 
revenue and the administration of the services 
entrusted to their quasi-independent care." 1 The 
responsibility of the Government of India to the 
Secretary of State made it impossible, as was stated 
in 1887, for the former "to give up altogether its 
duty of general financial control. " a The Secretary 
of State at this time was exercising a close control, 
and so it was difficult for the Government of India, 
even if it wished, to allow greater liberty to the 
Local Governments except in minor details. 

From time to time the Government of India had 
been compelled by war, famine or unfavourable 
exchange to demand retrenchment from the Local 
Governments even in provincial services. 8 The 
Secretary of State was also insisting that expenditure 
from provincial revenues be kept within strict limits. 



1 Financial Resolution, No. 1514, 8 July 1878. 

8 Financial Resolution, 28 January 1887. 

"The Government of India cannot concede to Local 
Governments greater power than it itself possesses... and 
absolute administrative independence is by no means the 
object of the provincial system." para 14. 

8 Besieds the contribution taken during 
War, which was remitted, contribution 
the Local Governments during the 
Lord Dufferin. (Summary of the Prin 
the Viceroyalty of Lord Dufferin in tl 
Finance and Commerce. Vol. IV, pp. 10J 




158 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

During the Afghan War the Supreme Government 
had been constrained to levy a contribution on 
provincial funds, and though it was remitted 
afterwards, it is quite evident that the revenues of 
India were undivided and the Central Government 
had the first claim on them. No legal separation 
of income or expenditure had been effected between 
the two, and the Government of India with the 
assent of the Secretary of State could alter or repeal 
the arrangement devised in 1870 and later. Such 
a system could by no means be called a federal 
system of finance. 

Judging from the frequent statements by the 
Government of India and the actual practice during 
the period, we may conclude that the "Provincial 
Finance" scheme secured the delegation of limited 
financial powers only for the purpose of economy 
and retrenchment. "The basis of that system is 
financial," wrote the Government of India, "the Local 
Governments being placed, in respect of their 
provincial revenues under certain pecuniary liabilities, 
while their administrative powers in relation to public 
expenditure have been extended." 1 

The need of the Government of India for further 
resources provided the main incentive; and that 
remained the chief consideration both in the 
initiation as well as in the development of the 
project. But harmony in their relations and 
economy in provincial expenditure were concomitant 
advantages expected. A subsidiary result, the 

Resolution (Finance) No. 1514 dated 8 July 1878, 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 159 

importance of which was slow to be realised, was 
that the scheme provided the only means by which 
within the existing system of government, the 
association of Indians with the administration could 
be achieved. The development of local self- 
government was intimately connected with it. 1 No 
doubt, no radical change was possible in the relations 
between the Central and the Provincial Governments, 
but that was not the object in view. The purpose 
was not to create autonomous Local Governments ; 
what was required was a relaxation of such control, 
or delegation of such authority, financial and 
administrative, as might smooth the process of 
administration without disturbing the supremacy of 
the Government of India. 2 

An extension of the administrative powers of the 

Local Governments was expected to result from 

Lord Mayo's financial scheme. It 

exerdsedb/Sie was h P ed that the detailed 

Government of interference of the Government of 

n ia ' India in provincial matters would 

be lessened by increasing the authority of the Local 

1 Resolutions (Finance) 31 August 1864 and 30 
September 1881. 

a Mr. Ranade holds that in 1877 there was a clear 
"revulsion of feeling on the part of the Government of 
India in respect of the anticipated benefits of the policy 
of financial decentralisation. The whole scheme was 
reduced to a mere departmental arrangement for avoiding 
interference in the details of local administration." (Note on 
Decentralisation). There is no cause to believe that there 
was any "revulsion of feeling", for the scheme from its 
very inception bad been merely a departmental arrangement. 



160 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Governments to sanction expenditure. The limit jjfor 
sanctioning the creation of new posts or for grants 
of salaries was fixed at Rupees 250 a month, and 
in respect of public works Local Governments 
were free to authorise ordinary works within their 
budget estimate, and productive public works if not 
costing more than Rupees 10 lakhs in each case, 1 
The margin was fairly calculated to lessen the 
chances of conflict between the two authorities, and 
afford relief to the overworked departments of the 
Central Government. 

To some extent these expectations were realised. 
But the change was in fact quantitative not 
qualitative. There was reduction in the number of 
references to the Government of India on petty items 
of detail which did not involve any question of 
principle or policy. These references, however, 
related to higher appointments and covered 
practically the same subjects as before 1870, No 
relaxation of the general superintendence, direction 
and control was either possible or intended. The 
Government of India issued from time to time, 
as previously, Resolutions sketching the lines of 
uniform administrative improvement, affecting 



Als., Thomes: Fedral Finance in India, p. 230. for criticism 
of the new system. He considers its spirit to be generous 
and liberal; but no substantial (increase in the authority of 
the Local Governments was possible. 

1 Rules relating to Productive Public Works issued 
on 20 March 1878, Rule VIII. 

All projects not exceeding rupees 10 lakhs or \2\ lakhs 
including establishments, tools etc, would be dealt with 
finally by the Local Governments 

Also Resolution No. 2009 (Finance) 23 March 1878. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870*1887 161 

almost all the departments. The proceedings of 
the Local Governments and their reports of 
administration came regularly under review and were 
commented upon by the Governor General in 
Council. His interference in the details of 
administration to secure their harmony with general 
principles was still a reality. And in the exercise 
of his superintending authority he could call for any 
reports and explanations from the Local 
Governments. No doubt, there was a tendency to 
allow as much discretion to them as practicable, and 
to interfere with their judgment as little as possible. 
But, even then such occasions were neither few 
nor far between. 

In the department of education, for example, 

on its transfer to the provincial budgets, though 

the Government of India no 

^ strative longer fixed the amounts to be 

appropriated still it regulated the 

policy as in the case of Muhammadan education, 

or of grants-in-aid to primary or to European 

schools. 1 Particularly as regards primary schools, 

for instance, the Government of India stated in a 

Resolution that while funds for elementary education 

should come from the local rates, the government 

should also contribute liberally for the purpose. 

But it laid down the rule that the state contribution 

should be not more than one-half of the aggregate 

contribution from all other sources.* The 

l Moral and Material Progress Report. 1873-74, p. 25. 
Also Resolutions 1873 and 1885. * Resolutions H. D. 
Education No. 59/67 dated 11 February 1871, 
F. 21 



162 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Government of Madras considered the resolution 
contrary to the spirit of the new financial scheme 
and embarrassing to the Local Government. 1 The 
Government of India drew attention to the paras 
25 and 26 of the Resolution of 14 December 1870 
and stated that "in respect of the enforcement of 
principles of Imperial policy, the Government of 
India must continue to exercise the same control as 
heretofore in those departments the financial 
management of which has been left to the Local 
Governments, and as regards education especially." 2 
A similar reply had been sent to the Bombay 
Government. 8 Subsequent to the report of, the 
Education Commission of 1884, the Supreme 
Government outlined its policy 4 and asked for the 
co-operation of the Local Governments in carrying 
it out, even if they differed from parts of it. 5 
Financial references respecting salaries and posts 

1 Letter from Madras to Government of India 
No. 150, 2 June 1871. 

2 Letter from the Government of India to Madras. 
No. 273 H. D. Education, 4 July 1871. 

8 Letter to Bombay from the Government of India 
No. 243 H. D. Education, 20 June 1871. 

4 Resolution H. D. Education, 23 October 1884. 

6 Letter to Local Governments No. 323, 28 October 
1884. 

Wrote to Madras : "H. E. in Council trust that full 
effect|will be given to those orders and instructions ; and he 
feels sure that the Madras Government will endeavour 
to meet the views of the Supreme Government in those 
few points of difference to which the Governor General 
in Council is disposed to attach importance." (Letter No. 
323A) 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 163 

did continue ; and the Government of India utilised 
them for reviewing the working of the department 
and pointing out defects, or for securing uniformity 
in the pay and the conditions of service. 1 But 
such control was not close and the Local 
Governments had ample liberty to carry on 
administration within the framework of the policy 
prescribed by the Secretary of State. 2 

Similarly, in the field of local self-government, 
interference was not great. The policy of the 
Government of India was to give as much liberty 
to the local bodies as was compatible with the 
general interests of the state. However, the largest 
number of references during this period relates to 
the octroi duties and other terminal tolls, for the 
Government of India feared that such duties might 
develop into transit duties on the general trade of 
the country. 8 In respect of loans raised by 

1 Objection was taken to the difference in the pay of 
the Professors in the two colleges of the Madras 
Presidency. 

2 The Government of India had attempted occasionally 
to secure uniformity in respect of such matters of routine 
as the appointment of the Text Book Committees and the 
duration of the vacations in the schools and had issued 
orders to that effect. But the Local Governments opposed 
the intended interference. 

Resolution H. D. Edn. No. 143/52 dated 99 March 
1877 and Resolution No. 10/394-405 dated 14 July 1882 
respectively. 

8 Letters to N, W. P., C. P., Punjab and Oudh, Nos. 
15-18, 29 August 1871; Letter N. W. P. No. 73, 
19 September 1873; Letter to Punjab No. 5 f 12 January 
1874; Letter to Bombay No. 39, 31 March 1877; 
Proceedings Municipalities 1871-77 etc. 



164 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

municipalities also, the sanction of the Government 
of India was necessary. 1 Lord Ripon extended the 
scope of local self-government by introducing a larger 
non-official element and substituted the method of 
election for nomination; and asked the Local 
Governments to put these principles into practice. 2 

But the same cannot be said about the main 
branches of administration dealing with law and 
order. The Government of India was anxious to 
improve the working of the jails so as to lessen 
the rate of mortality among convicts and avoid 
public criticism. Conferences and committees of 
enquiry were set up from time to time, and their 
recommendations were urged on the Local 



1 The powers of the Local Governments under the 
Local Public Works Loan Act 1871 (repealed by Local 
Authorities Loan Act 1879) were regulated by rules 
published under the Act by Notification No. 3761 of 
18 October 1873 (superseded by Not. No. 3745, 8 November 
1879 and No. 591, 31 January 1882). By Resolution 
No. 2448 (Finance) 28 August 1879 the Local Governments 
were authorised to make small loans out of a sum placed 
at their disposal. But for larger loans sanction had to be 
taken after 1877 and for all loans before that year. For 
such sanctions see Municipalities Proceedings of various 
years, as for example Nos. 3-8, July 1872; No. 2, August 
1872, No. 2, September 1872; No. 12, May 1877. 
With the issue of Resolution (Finance) No. 2206, 28 July 
1877 regulating the grant of loans, references diminished. 
Still sanction was required for loans of large amounts. 
See Proceedings Municipalities of various years. 

* Resolutions 30 September 1881 and 18 May 1882. 
Also correspondence relating to the same with Bombay 
Government. Bombay letter No. 4141 dated 27th 
October 1882 and reply to it No. 1774, 6 Nov. 1882: 
also letter to Bombay No. 2047 (Public) 20 I December 
1882; Wolf : Life of Lord Ripon, pp, 93-98. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870.1887 163 

Governments for adoption. 1 General instructions on 
various subjects of jail discipline and organisation 
were accordingly issued. A greater vigilance is 
noticeable in respect of the application of the 
rules. When three cases of lax discipline and 
negligence were reported from the Punjab, a general 
resolution was issued enjoining strict adherence to 
the law. 2 The Government of Madras had passed 
orders regarding convict labour which were thought 
inconsistent with the maintenance of caste and the 
Government of India, on a review of its proceedings 
requested the Governor in Council to reconsider the 
order, as it was against the recognised policy of the 
Government of India. 8 When for some years a 
rising mortality was noted in some jails in Bombay 
Presidency, the Supreme Government suggested 
sanitary measures and required the Local 
Governments to submit sanitary returns with their 
reports. 4 Later the Government of India gave more 
definite directions regarding the jail dietary and 
required closer supervision and a more effective 
inspection of the jails to check abuses. 5 Further, 

1 Commissions of enquiry into jail management 
of 1864 and 1877. 

1 Resolution No. 30-1314 H. D. (Judicial) 24 July 
1873. 

8 Letter to Madras Government No. 1149 Jdl. 8 July 
1871. 

4 Letter to Bombay Government No. 1563 Jdl. 30 
November 1878 and Resolution No, 25/1653 to 1665 
H. D. Jdl. 26 Dec. 1878. 

* Resolution H. D. Judicial No. 3/114-24 3 February 
1882, and Resolution No. 28/757-1767, 12 December 
1882. 



166 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

when the manufacture of certain articles was started 
in the jails, the Government of India laid down 
regulations to prevent competition with private 
industry. 1 Its sanction was required for setting up 
power-driven machinery in the jails. 2 Articles 
suitable for manufacture in jails were catalogued and 
departure from the list required previous sanction of 
the Governor General in Council. 3 The subject of 
the remission of sentences also attracted attention. 
The Secretary of State desired uniformity in practice 
in all the provinces, and the Government of India 
prescribed general rules and required conformity 
to them. 4 

The supervision of the police administration was 
no less thorough, as it closely affected the well- 
being of the people. The Government of India 
insisted on full information being supplied to it "upon 
all cases which affect the working of an important 
branch of the general administration of the country." 
For instance, it asked the Government of Bengal to 



1 Resolution H. D. No. 20-1406-19,22 September 
1882. The Local Governments protested against it and 
the Secretary of State was opposed to so minute 
regulations. Hence it was modified See Judical Proceedings 
February 1883 Nos. 131-134. Also earlier Circular 
Letter No. 16-1070 9 August (Jdl. No. 162). Also Resolution 
H. D. No. 10/605-18, 7 May 1886. 

* Letter from Bengal No. 2700 T. 30 September 1876 
and reply to that No. 1847, 13 December 1876. 

8 Resolution 22 Sept. 1882. 



29 May 1883 and Resolution H. D. Jdl. (Jails) 
No.17/1221-31, 4 September 1885. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 167 

submit a report on the trial of an Inspector of Police 
at Howrah, which had attracted much public 
attention. 1 As in the earlier period, the Government 
of India interfered to secure obedience to its orders 
respecting the supply of arms to the police force 3 
and the proportion of the military element in it.* 
The Central Government secured the co-ordination 
of the provincial departments' in the detection of 
crime which was not local but had its ramifications 
in the distant parts of the country, as in the case of 
the forgery of currency notes, 4 or in the suppression 

1 Letter to Bengal No. 390. 10 September 1873 
* Letter to Madras No. 116, 9 May 1884. 
8 Resolution H. D. (Police) No. 1/74-85, 20 March 
1885, limiting percentage of military element to 10 p.c. 
of the total except in the Punjab. Bombay protested 
(Letter No. 2471, 6 April 1885) but the Government of 
India saw no reason to change its decision, to allow a 
greater percentage than in the Punjab. (Letter to Bombay 
No. 140, 28 April 1885). 

* In July 1872 forgery of currency notes was 
discovered in Madras as well as in Bombay. The Finance 
Department reported the matter to the Home Department 
which called on the various Local Governments to submit 
information in the matter so that coordination of efforts 
might be possible. Capt. Weldon was appointed for 
the purpose and the Local Governments were asked 
to help him. Bombay police did not keep him 
informed of its action. The Governor General in Council 
asked the Bombay Government to "give such orders as 
shall ensure full and prompt inter-communication." 
The Government of India remarked also that "the discovery 
of simultaneous forgeries of Currency Notes on a large 
scale is a matter which requires close attention from 
the Supreme Government." (Letter to Bombay No. 565 
21 October 1872) (Police Proceedings August 1872 
No. 84-151) 



166 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

of dacoity. 1 During this period the Governor 
General in Council carefully scrutinised the action 
of the Local Governments in suppressing female 
infanticide. Definite and detailed instructions under 
the Infanticide Act were given to the Local 
Governments on the subject and even their legal 
powers were put under restraint so as to avoid 
any danger to the general tranquility of the 
country. The Government of India insisted on 
its previous sanction being taken before the Act 
was proclaimed as being applicable to any village 
or clan.* The Government of India required the 
assimilation of rules in all the provinces even in 
respect of such minor matters as the hand-cuffing 
of undertrial prisoners and laid down general 
principles regarding them. 8 

The Supreme Government was primarily 
responsible for peace and order throughout the 
country, and was kept informed of all occurrences 
affecting it. 4 Generally there was no interference 

1 Resolution H. D. Nos. 3-120 to 131, 15 May 
1875. 

2 Police Proceedings, January 1873, No. 60*61. 

8 Resolution H. D. Police Nos. 5-350-360, 4 November 
1881; also Resolution Police No. 411, 25 September 1882. 
The Punjab Government requested to be permitted to 
retain the existing rules but the Government of India did 
not agree to it Letter from Punjab No. 141, 18 October 
1882 (Police Proceedings November 1882 No. 6). 

4 Fully informed of the operations against Santhal 
Pargana outbreak in 1881. Also reports of the riots in Surat 
and Broach submitted, 5 April 1878 (Police, January 
1879) Pro. Police, January 1886, No. 49. Detailed reports 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 169 

with the steps taken by the Local Government, but 
when necessary, the Government of India did not 
abstain from calling for reports of the operations, 
suggesting course of action and remonstrating with 
the Local Government, if found remiss. For 
example, on the occasion of the Rampa rising in the 
Presidency of Madras in 1879-80, the Government 
of India, while approving of the measures adopted, 
laid down general principles necessary to prevent 
such outbreaks in the future, and pointed out the 
defects in administration which should be improved 1 
Even matters of lesser importance such as an 
increase in the number of murders in the Peshawar 
district,* or the movements of wandering Baluchi 
groups with safe-conduct passports and armed with 
fire-arms, 8 did not escape the attention of the 



of the Hindu Muslim riots in Etawah, Delhi, Jalundhar 
etc. in 1886 were asked for, and the Government of India 
asked the Local Governments concerned to take special 
measures to prevent the recurrence of similar disturbances 
in 1887 as Muharram and Ramlila would coincide again 
(Police Proc. April 1887). 

1 Police Proc: June 1880 No. 11; March 1881 f No. 41; 
and June 1882 No. 72. The letter to Madras Government 
No. 34 of 4 February 1882 is of particular importance, 
as giving detailed instructions. In the case of 
misunderstanding between the Sowrahs of Ganjam and 
their Chief in 1880, the Government of India asked the 
Government of Madras to transfer the officer posted 
there (Letter to Madras No. 146, 9 February 1880). 

* Letter to Punjab No. 475 (H. D. Police, 2 October 
1886.) It was on a review of the Punjab Police Report 
for 1885. 

8 Police Proceedings, November 1886, Nos. 34-44. 
Madras Govt. reported that certain Baluchi gangs had 

F. 23 



170 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Central Government. It also watched carefully 
the working of the Whipping Act " in order that any 
tendency towards an indiscriminate or ill-judged 
resort to this form of punishment may be promptly 
checked." 1 Similarly the administration of the 
Factory Act of 1888 was supervised and observations 
concerning the principles regarding it were conveyed 
to the Local Governments. 8 It will be apparent 
from the above illustrations that the Supreme 
Government was always alive to the need of closely 
supervising the operations of the Local Governments 
in every department and enunciating general 
policy with the aim of reforming or preventing 
abuses. 

So also the land revenue settlement policy, 
the procedure in the revision of settlements, the 

appeared in the northern districts of the Presidency 
possessing license for fire arms granted by the magistrate 
of Puri, pointed out that this was in contravention of the 
order of the Government of India; and suggested that 
positive instructions be reiterated to the governments of 
the Northern Presidencies to carefully attend to the 
instruction laid down by the Government of India (Madras 
Letter No. 2307 (Jdl) 1 Sep. 1885). The Government 
of India issued letter to Bengal (No. 398, 30 Nov. 1885) 
and Punjab (No. 399) asking conformity to the Resolution 
of 1879. 

1 Despatch to Secretary of State, No. 2 Jdl. 16 January 
1882. In 1867 the Local Governments were left to 
themselves to supervise its working but in 1882 they were 
put into "possession of the views of the Government of 
India upon certain matters of an administrative character in 
connection with this subject." Resolution No. 2/44-5 H. D. 
Jdl. 11 January 1882. 

Factory Act No. XV of J881. Letter to all Local 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 171 

administration of the excise and the forest departments, 
the executive control over the judicial machinery, 
all demanded attention. The Government of 
India definitely abandoned the policy of permanent 
settlement, and, in order to remov the evils 
of periodical revisions, laid down the principles and 
regulated the procedure for revision of settlements 
in the territories not under the permanent 
settlement. 1 It caused a careful examination of the 
different systems of excise in force in India and 
though unable to make any sweeping changes in 
them, declared its intention of "gradually introducing 
such reforms and changes of system as the 
circumstances of each province may from time to 
time require." 4 Also, the Government of India 
interfered to preserve the intergity and independence 
of the judiciary. But, while leaving the control 
over the judicial organisation to the High Court, 
it superintended the working of the executive control 
exercised by the Local Governments, and generally 
when disposing of the requisitions of the latter 
for additions to the existing posts or reorganisation 
of judicial establishments, found opportunity to 
review the work of the courts or to suggest changes 

Governments, No. 12-710-9 of 27 May 1881. Specially 
attention was called to the provisions relating to the 
age of child workers and inspection of the factories. 

i Memorandum on the Progress of the Madras 
Presidency during the last Forty years of British 
Administration by S. S. Raghavaiyangar, Inspector 
General of Registration, Madras, pp. 210 17. 

8 Summary of the Principal Measures in the Finance 
Dept. under the Viceroyalty of Lord Ripon, p. 33. 



ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

in procedure so as to effect uniformity throughoi 
the country. 1 It should not, however, be presume 
that there was any meddling with the course c 
justice, or except in respect of financial contrc 
there was any serious retrenchment of th< 
authority of the Local Governments. 

The control by the Government of India ove 
the public services was no less thorough. Though 
under the new financial arrangements, th< 
Local Governments were empowered to sanctior 
entertainment of public establishments, theii 
authority was limited by the rules relating to the 
grant of salaries and the creation or abolition of 
any class or grade of officers. 2 Consequently they 
had to apply for the previous sanction of the 
Governor General in Council for every increase 
in their superior staff and for every reorganisation of 
establisments. Moreover, the Local Governments 
were required to follow the various financial 
codes and service regulations which were framed 
by the Government of India, every departure 



1 E. g. see letter to the Resident of Hyderabad 
No. 909 (Jdl.) 11 July 1874 (copy sent to Bombay 
Government) (Judicial Proceedings No. 162, July 1874)- 
Letter to Bengal No. 792, 16 June 1874; Letter to Bengal 
No. 461, 26 March 1874; Letter to N. W. P. No. 436 
(Jdl.) 20 March 1874; Letter to Punjab No. 187 (Jdl.) 
3 February 1886 etc. Letter to Madras No. 78, 19 
January 1883. 

* Resolution, 14 December 1870. para 21. The 
Local Governments could not create posts carrying 
over Rs. 250 per mensem or make additions to any 
such salary. Also they could not create or abolish any 
class or jprade of officers or raise or reduce its pay. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1 887 l73 

from which relating to the grant of allowances, 
pensions, gratuities or other concessions to the public 
servants was reported to the latter for sanction. 
The supreme authority announced its policy, from 
time to time, regarding appointments, or laid down 
general rules affecting emoluments and promotions 
of some particular class of public servants. It was 
the duty of the Government of India to see that 
these general principles were properly enforced by 
the Local Governments. During this period the 
Supreme Government made a rule that no "non- 
native" should be appointed to a post with a salary 
of Rs. 200 and more per month without the previous 
sanction of the Governor General in Council or the 
Secretary of State (in the case of Madras and 
Bombay). 1 Many references came to the 
Government of India from the Local Governments 
on this account, or the former asked for explanations 
whenever there was a breach of the rule. 2 The 
Government of India made rules also for an increase 
in the emoluments of the Subordinate Executive 
Service throughout the country, and fixed the 

1 Resolution H. D. Nos. 21-746 to 753, dated 18 April 
1879; Also Government of India's despatch to the 
Secretary of State No. 29, 24 April 1879 and Secretary 
of State's despatch No. 66 (Public) 10 July 1879 and his 
despatches to Madras and Bombay Nos. 7 and 9 of the 
same date. (Report of the Public Services Commission 
1886, Appendix J). 

1 E. g. The N. W. P. Government was not permitted 

to appoint a European to Head Mastership in Benares on 

Rs. 350 a month. (Education Proceedings No. 42. August 
1886.) 



ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL 

maximum and minimum grades for the Deputy 
Collectors and Tahsildars, as there was great 
difference in the rates of pay given in different 
provinces. 1 Other general arrangements respecting 
the civil service were also made by the Supreme 
Government. 2 

The control exercised by the Government of 
India at the time was, however, of a more general 
character and not so minute as before 1870. No 
doubt, the number of references relating to posts 
or reorganisation of establishments was still large 
but generally these references were such as might 
involve questions of policy or general principles. 

1 Summary of the Principal Measures of Government 
in the Finance Department during the Viceroyalty of 
Lord Ripon. pp. 16-17. 

8 For example, the scheme for the creation of the 
Statutory Civil Service in 1870, or the scheme of parallel 
Judicial and Executive Civil Service for uniform promotion 
in the two branches of the Convenanted Civil Service, or 
the rule that no person other than Convenanted Civil 
Servant would be appointed in the first instance to any 
post reserved for them without the previous sanction of 
the Governor General in Council, was framed by the 
Supreme Government. Vide H. D. Notification No. 1371 
dated 19 August 1875, and Notification No. 1534 dated 28 . 
August 1879. 

Also Resolution No. 1-27-38 dated 11 January 1881 
and letter from Madras No. 2836 dated 5 December 1885 
and reply No. 4 dated 4 January 1886. (Public Proc. 
January 1886 Nos. 16 and 19). 

Rules relating to Statutory Civil Service under Statute 
33 Vic. Cap. 3 f Sec. 6 of 1870. 

Rule 4 in Resolution No. 21-746-753 dated 18 April 
1879 (regarding posts reserved for Covenanted Civil 
Service). 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 l75 

The Governor General in Council interfered to secure 
uniformity in the conditions of service in the different 
provinces, or to secure conformity to the established 
principles of administration. This control over policy, 
administrative system and discipline of the higher 
services was essentially a matter for the supreme 
authority. 

With a view to secure proper supervision, the 
Local Governments were required to furnish returns 
and statistics in prescribed forms to the Government 
of India, and to submit periodical reports on the 
working of the various departments. The form of 
these returns and reports was fixed by the Supreme 
Government and had to be uniformly followed by 
all the Local Governments. 1 On the receipt of 
the returns and reports, it was customary for the 
Government of India to review them and forward 
its comments to the Local Governments. 2 Enquiries 
were often made regarding the action taken. 
Sometimes these extended to matters of minor 
detail. 8 The Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab 



l Resolution H. D. No. 796 dated 12 May 1873; and 
letter to Bombay No. 1326 dated 18 July 1873, and to 
Bengal No. 1820 dated 16 July 1873; also letters to 
Bombay No. 358, N. W. P. No. 359, Bengal and Oudh 
dated 6 March 1874. (Judicial Proc. March 1874 No. 18-50) 
Also Resolutions were issued in 1879 and 1880 relating 
to educational forms and tables. (Educational Proceedings, 
1879 and 1880) 

a For example, letter to N. W. P. No. 538, 16 October 
1884 reviewing Report on Police Administration. Jail 
Administration of Oudh report was reviewed, and detailed 
criticisms wers made. (Judicial Proceedings, January 1872) 

8 For example Government of India's letter to the 



176 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

drew attention to two such enquiries and opined that 
"much unnecessary correspondence, labour and waste 
of time 11 were caused thereby. 1 He submitted that 
the "Local Governments may be trusted to carry 
out the orders and the declared policy of the 
Government of India, and do not need to be 
controlled and watched in these minutiae." No 
doubt, occasionally departmentalism led this otherwise 
salutory supervision to become excessive. But on 
the whole, the interference of the Government of 
India in provincial administration had greatly abated 
after the inception of Lord Mayo's scheme. 

There was no substantial change in the control 

by the Government of India over the legislative 

activity of the Local Governments. 

C o n VT o 1* ! V 6 A P art fr m the P^vious sanction 
necessary for the introduction of 
the Bills under the Indian Councils Act of 1861 
and the Secretary of State's orders respecting penal 
clauses, no other interference was exercised with the 
local Bills. 8 The effort of the Government of India 
in 1869-71 to review all proposed local Bills with the 
aim of perfecting them both as to policy and form, 
had failed. 8 The opposition then aroused, made the 

Punjab Government No. 315, 12 September 1885 enquiring 
whether its remarks on certain cases of infanticide had 
been communicated to the district authorities. 

1 Letter from Punjab No. 166, 3 November 1881 
(Police Proc. No. 16, November 1885). 

* Section 43 of Indian Councils Act, and the Secretary 
of State's Despatch No. 35 (Legislative) 1 December 1862. 

* See Chapter II. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 \H 

Supreme Government cautious; and subsequently 
when an attempt was made by the Secretariat of the 
Government of India to examine more than the 
penal provisions of the Bills submitted there was 
reluctance to allow it. 1 The Governor General in 
Council merely directed that the Legislative 
Department "might consider whether the bill was 
within the powers of the local legislature, and 
whether it was consistent with the general principles 
of our legislation", and if there be any objection "in 
either of these respects it should bring the matter 
to His Excellency's notice. 11 But the attention of 
the government concerned was to be directed to the 
defects, "not officially but non-officially.* The 
Local Governments had already been requested to 
submit copies of those Bills "which may possibly 
conflict with some statute or some Act of the 

Governor General's Council or jurisdiction of the 

local High Court" before introduction, in order to 
guard against their exceeding the powers of the 
local legislatures. But it was optional for them 
to do so. 8 

In 1874 the Secretary of State ordered that all 
Bills before they were introduced into the Legislative 

1 A selection of papers relating to the Constitution and 
Functions of the Indian Legislative Councils, 1886. pp. 
235-36. 

* Council Order dated 10 May 1883. Ibid. p. 239; Note 
by Mr. Forbes para 36 (Ibid. pp. 241-252;. 

9 Circular Letter to the Local Governments of Madras, 
Bombay and Bengal, No, S70-572 dated 23 May 
1879. 

F. 23 



178 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Council, local or Imperial, must be submitted to him 
for examination and information. 1 The Governments 
of Bombay and Madras sent the Bills direct to him, 
but the Government of Bengal was required to 
forward them through the Government of India. A 
problem arose in the Legislative Department of the 
Government of India, whether it should merely 
transmit the Bills to England, or offer comments 
and criticisms on their scope. After much discussion, 
it was decided that the Local Government should 
submit two sets of papers, so that the Government 
of India might examine the Bills closely without 
delaying their transmission to the Secretary of State, 
All communications on the subject of the proposed 
legislation were made unofficially. The Presidency 
Governments were also asked to forward copies of 
the Bills and accompanying despatches. 2 The 
decision of the Secretary of State was communicated 
in the first instance to the Government of India 
which informed the Local Governments. 8 The 
Government of Bombay, perhaps swayed by the 
idea of prestige, asked that such communications 

1 Despatch from the Secretary of State No. 9 
(Legislative) 31 March 1874 (Public Proc. No. 130, 
January 1875). 

* Note by Mr. Forbes paras 5-6 

8 On representation by the Government of India 
(Despatch No. 45 H. D. 28 July 1874) the Secretary of 
State conceded that "any instructions to the Local 
Governments, which he may have to give, he will 
communicate to the Government of India." (Despatch 
No. 33, IS October 1874. Also Despatch dated 
11 February 1875). 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 17$ 

should be made direct to ft, but the Secretray of 
State declined. 1 

No change was effected by the Secretary of 
State's orders in the practice of submitting Bills 
(under section 43 of the Act of 1861) to the 
Governor General before introducing them in 
the legislature. Generally, the Supreme Government 
reserved its opinion on provisions, other than 
penal, of the Bills thus submitted for a later stage 
when the Bill as passed by the Legislative Council 
came for the final assent of the Governor General. 3 
Objection was occasionally taken at the initial stage 
to the penal clauses; or if deemed to be ultra vires, 
the Bill was returned for legal opinion or for 
necessary changes. 5 In a few cases the entire 

1 The Government of India informed the three Local 
Governments (Letter of 7 July 1875) respecting the 
procedure sanctioned by the Secretary of State. The 
Bombay Government protested. Letter to the Government 
of India No. 38, 3 February 1875. Reply No. 301, 
20 February 1875; Bombay Letter No. 56, 27 February 
1875; Secretary of State's Despatch No. 18 (Legislative) 
15 April 1875, and sullen protest of Bombay, Letter 
No. 163 dated 14 June 1875. 

a Letter to Bombay No. 2047 (Public) 20 December 
1882 para 2 (Public Proc. January 1883 Nos. 13-21); 
Letter to Bombay No. 115, 27 January 1886 para 2 
(Judicial Proc. January 1886 No. 257); Lord Ripon 
objected to such reviews at the preliminary stage for 
he desired to retain the freedom of the Viceroy to 
veto the Bills if required in the light of the discussions 
of the Local Councils, Minute, 9 July 1884. 

8 For example, Letter to Bombay No. 115, 27 January 
1886, para 1; Letter to Bombay No. 560, 25 April 1884 
requiring the proposed draft Bill, extending the 
Factory Act to be submitted to the Government of India 



180 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Bill was discussed, but as in the case of the Local 
Self-Government Bill of Bombay this was done 
at the request of the Local Government ritself 
to see that it conformed with the principles laid 
down by Lord Ripon's Government. 1 The general 
practice at this time was to add to the sanction 
of the penal clauses a remark that "the Bill has 
not yet been examined in its other aspects, and 
that the consideration of other points and of the 
provisions of the Bill generally is reserved until 
a later stage after the measure has been discussed 
in the local Council and subjected to local 
criticism. 111 

When the Bill finally came for assent it was 
scrutinised thoroughly in the light of public criticism 
and if undesirable was vetoed. 8 Sometimes objection 
was taken to certain provisions, and, as in the case of 
the Local Board Act of the Madras Presidency, 

before introduction to see that it was within the powers 
of the local legislature; Letter to Madras No. 907 H. D. 
(Jdl.) 22 June 1883 (Bill regulating procedure of Village 
Courts may be ultra vires); or Letter to Bengal 
No. 690 (Jdl.) 17 May 1883; (Bengal Local Self 
Government Bill found ultra vires), Letter to Bombay 
No. 202 (Jdl.) 16 February 1882 ; also Letter to Bombay 
No. 137 (Jdl.) 28 January 1876 etc. 

1 Bombay Letter No. 301 (Legislative) 27 November 
1883 and reply to above No. 2047 (Public) 20 December 
1882. 

* Letter to Bombay No. 115 (Jdl) 27 January 1886. 

1 For example, Bombay Bill for the preservation of 
game was vetoed owing to public criticism. Judicial 
Proceedings No. 33, July 1881. Also Bengal Municipalities 
Bill was disallowed. Municipalities Proceedings No, 12- 
13, February 1873, 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 181 

the Local Government was asked to take an early 
opportunity to amend the law where necessary, 
though assent was not withheld. 1 Judging from the 
practice of the period, we may conclude that within 
their limited sphere the local Legislative Councils 
were free to legislate for the territories under their 
charge, and that the Local Government was not 
greatly interfered with in its legislative action. 

An attempt was made to strengthen the control 

of the Government of India by limiting or 

abolishing the privilege of direct 

The problem correspondence with the Secretary of 
ofDirect^ r ,, ,_ J 

Corresponden c e State possessed by the Governments 

with the of Bombay and Madras. Even the 
State* e t a r y f reduction of these governments 
to the status of Lieutenant 
Governorships without a Council and other 
traditional symbols of quasi-independence was 
suggested. 2 Such proposals prove the continuance 
of very strained relations, and the Government 
of India papers are full of complaints of the 
conduct of the Presidencies. Their attitude 

1 Madras City Municipalities Act was assented to, but 
the Local Government was requested to amend it as early 
as convenient as the provision relating to tax on wholesale 
dealers in liquors appeared to be objectionable. Letter to 
Madras No. 442 (Municipalities) March 1884 ; Also Madras 
District Municipalities Act. Letter to Madras No. 1533 
(Municipalities) 8 July 1884; Bengal Municipalities 
Amendment Act of 1884 also assented to under 
similar conditions. Letter to Bengal No. 678 (Legislative) 
16 April 1884. 

* Public Proceedings Nos. 151-156, March 1880; Minute 
by Sir A. Arbuthnot, dated 5 September 1879. 



182 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

was represented as very often one of open 
hostility to, or scornful disregard of, the 
authority of the Supreme Government. The 
Government of Bombay continued its "notorious 
insubordination", and at Madras during the 
governorships of Lord Hobart and the Duke of 
Buckingham, that government too was a source of 
irritation to the Government of India. 1 It was hoped 
that with the abandonment of the system of minute 
interference their antagonism would cease. But the 
hope was in vain. The Presidency Governments 
referred financial proposals for sanction to the 
Secretary of State over the head of the Government 
of India, preferred appeals against its orders, or were 
loth to carry into execution schemes of administrative 
reorganisation unless it was made plain to them that 
the Secretary of State was behind the Government of 
India.* The extreme of annoyance was reached in the 



1 Minute by Hon'ble Sir A. Arbuthnot, 5 September 
1879. (Public Proceedings March 1880. No. 151), Balfour; 
Lord Lytton's Indian Administration pp. 191*193. 

* For example, Rev. Griffith's case in Madras, 
Mr. White's leave case, a memorial for compassion 
allowance and financial concessions for David Sassoon 
Hospital in Bombay. Office Memorandum, Finance 
Department, No 47 1,1 8 May 1870; Also Bombay Government 
wrote direct regarding special leave rules for the police 
establishment there and Madras Government's letter for 
grant of compensation to an ex-zamindar (Public Proc. 
No. 206 December 1876.) In the matter of the 
reorganisation of judicial service in Madras, the Local 
Government demanded a copy of the Secretary of State's 
despatch for its guidance as it could not accept the proposals 
of the Government of India. Madras letter No, 1545, 



bECENTRALlSATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 183 

time of Lord Lytton. Sir A. Arbuthnot wrote, "at 
this moment, the difficulty, if not impossibility of 
getting any orders of any description carried out at 
Madras or obtaining any information on any subject, 
however important, from that government is a 
bye-word among the various departments of the 
Government of India." 1 The inefficiency of the 
famine administration there and the "withholding of 
information which it was the duty of the Local 
Government to supply" compelled the Viceroy to 
appoint a special officer to organise relief.* The 
Governor of Bombay, also, in the consciousness 
of his superior local knowledge, opposed the famine 
relief policy enunciated by the Supreme Government, 
and went to the length of publishing the Resolution 
of 26 January 1877 in the local newspapers 
"instituting an invidious and unfounded contrast 
between the action of the Governor General in 

Council and that of the President in Council" 

"a step wholly inconsistent with the subordinate 
position assigned by Parliament to the Government 
of Bombay/' 8 The Government of Madras offered 
"a passive opposition" which deterred for years 

11 July 1884. For this case see Judicial Prceedinga 
Nos. 274-293, September 1884. 

1 Minute by Sir A. Arbuthnot, 5 September 1879. 

9 Appointment of Sir Richard Temple. Lady Balfour: 
Lord Lytton's Indian Administration, pp. 193-5. 

8 Despatch from the Secretary of State to Bombay 

No. 13 (Revenue) 6 April 1877; Lord Lytton's Minute, 

17 March 1880; Sir A. Arbuthnot's Minute, 5 September 
1879. 



1&4 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL 

the adoption of reform in forest administration. 1 
The Government of Bombay considered it 
unnecessary to inform the Government of India 
about the occurrence of a Hindu-Muslim riot in 
Bombay, but sent a report to the Secretary of 
State.* This position was intolerable to the Supreme 
Government which declared it "detrimental to 
the interests of the whole Empire." 

The evil was rightly ascribed to "the unnecessary 
power which they possess of direct communication with 
the Secretary of State." 8 Lord Mayo's Government 
realised the need of "distinct rules being laid down 
in regard to the extent to which the Local 
Governments may correspond direct with the Home 
Government on questions which affect the Imperial 
finance.' 1 * On a note drawn up in the Financial 
Department, the Government of India formulated 
rules and sent them to the two Presidency 
Governments for consideration. These rules provided 
for the preliminary consideration by the Government 
of India of representations on the subject of creation 
of offices and the grant of salaries, as well as 
modification of general rules relating to pension, 

1 Minute by Sir A. Arbuthnot, 5 September 1879. 
2 Despatch to the Secretary of State, No. 18, 2 June 
1874. (Police Proc: No. 11, June 1874) 

8 See discussion in the Viceroy's Executive Council 
on the proposed conversion of the Presidency Governments 
into Lieutenant Governorships, Minutes of Lord Lytton, 
Mr. Johnson, General Haines and Mr. Rivers Thompson. 
Public Proceedings, Nos. 151-156, March 1880. 

4 Office Memo. Finance Department, No. 471, 
18 May 1870. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870*1887 185 

gratuity, leave and allowances. 1 The Governor in 
Council of Bombay considered it to be "very 
undesirable" that "any question affecting this 
privilege should be raised 1 ' and expressed "his 
inability to concur in any rules which would place 
the Governments of Madras and Bombay in an 
inferior position to that which they now hold." 1 
The Government of Madras was not so hostile; 
while Mr, Arbuthnot and Lord Napier welcomed 
the proposal, Mr. Sim regarded the existing 
privileges as adding "to our dignity and status in 
the eyes of our subjects" and opposed the 
suggestion. 8 The Secretary of State was addressed 
on the subject and the defects of the existing 
practice were pointed out. 4 The Duke of Argyll 
agreed with the Government of India and ordered 
that all correspondence on the "subjects of the 
creation of new offices and the grant of salaries, 

gratuities and allowances and by consequence on 

all modifications of existing orders on those subjects 
shall proceed through the Government of India.' 1 * 
Further he ordered that "all references by the 

1 Letter No, 3686 dated 6 August 1870. 

* Letter from Bombay Government to the Government 
of India, No. 2483, dated 15 October 1871. 

8 Letter from Madras to the Government of India 
No. 1035 dated 12 July 1871 including the Minutes of 
Mr. Arbuthnot (16 January 1871) of Lord Napier 
(21 January 1871) and Mr. Sim (8 July 1871.) 

4 Despatch to the Secretary of State No. 91 dated 
7 September 1871. 

6 Quoted in Government, of India letter to the 
Prsidency Governments No ?546/47 H. P. 17 June 1872. 

P. 24 



186 OR1OIH8 OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Governments of Madras and Bombay to the 
Secretary of State on important questions of general 
principle relating to the army and the relations of 
the Government with Foreign Princes and States 
shall be made through the Government of India." 
No rule could be prescribed for correspondence upon 
other questions, but it was hoped that "on every 
subject of real importance a reference would in 
the first instance be made to the Government of 
India," or otherwise the Secretary of State would 
pronounce no decision without previously obtaining 
an expression of the opinion of the Governor 
General in Council. 

Thus the privilege though curtailed was retained. 
Even in the case of Bengal, the wholly useless system 
of writing "special narratives" and despatching 
them to the Secretary of State through the 
Government of India was not discontinued, perhaps 
owing to the regard for the susceptibilities of 
the Lieutenant Governor. 1 However in 1876 the 
Government of India wrote to the Secretary of State 
on the recent cases of breach of the existing rules by 
the Governments of Bombay and Madras. At the 
same time it requested that the same principle 
should apply to the references relating to dissents 
against the policy of the laws passed by the 



1 Despatch to the Secretary of State No. 76, H. D. 2 
September 1872. The Government of Bengal (Letter No. 
3580, 30 November 1871) desired to continue the system, 
but the Government of India had requested the Secretary 
of State for its discontinuance. Nothing however seeing 
to hate been done. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 18^0-1887 

Supreme Government. 1 The Secretary of State 
accepted the suggestion, and the Government of 
India then informed the Presidency Governments 
that "questions relating to dissent from the 
legislative acts of the Government of India and 
memorials thereon ought first to be submitted to 
the Government of India, in case of appeal to the 
Secretary of State." 1 These orders were reiterated 
in 1879 on a reference by the Government of 
India against the submission direct to the Secretary 
of State by the Government of Madras of one 
memorial from a public servant for pension and 
another from the Princess of Tanjore for pecuniary 
assistance. 8 

The position was thus clearly defined that in 
all matters relating to the financial administration, 
political and military affairs or other questions 
of importance, reference should in the first instance 
be made to the Government of India, and appeals 
against its orders to the final authority in England 
should be submitted through it. Undoubtedly, 
this decision should have buttressed the general 

1 Despatch to the Secretaiy of Stale No. 80 dated 
8, December 1876; also Public Proceedings Nc* 206-210, 
December 1876. 

1 Despatch to the Secretary of State No. 17 (Public) 
22 February 1877, and the letters to the Presidency 
Governments, Nos. 1190 and 1191, 19 June 1877. (Public 
Proc. Nos. 182-83, June 1877). 

* Despatch from the Secretary of State No. 16 (Public) 
13 February 1879, and Letters to the Presidency 
Governments Nos. 894 and 895, 8 May 1879 (Public Proc, 
No. 56-58 May 1879). 



188 OfcltflNS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

control of the Governor General in Council; but 
we are not sure if it was followed in all cases 
by the Presidency Governments. The effort to 
obliterate the distinction between the Presidency 
Governments and other Local Governments in 
their status and constitution had no success. 1 Even 
the highly undesirable, uneconomical and 
expensive system of the presidential armies, with 
their separate staff appointments, which the 
Government of India and others had tried in vain 
to abolish and the abolition of which was 
recommended by the Eden Committee, was not done 
away with, and continued in existence till the 
year 1894. 1 

In the foregoing pages we have discussed 
the extent of the control exercised by the 
Supreme Government over the 
provincial ^ministration in order 
to demonstrate clearly the scope of 
the measures of financial decentralisation taken after 
1870. From that it must be evident that the 
Government of India while delegating authority in 
matters of detail to the Local Governments exercised 
its superintendence to secure conformity to the 
general principles laid down by itself, and to 
safeguard Imperial interests. But the magnitude 
of this interference should not lead us to suppose 



1 Despatch to the Secretary of State No. 21 (Public) 
17 March 1880. 

* Eden Committee Report, paras 40-49, 126-129 and 
144 5 also Public Proceedings, Nos. 15M56, March 1880. 



t>ECENTRAUSATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 189 

that there was no enlargement in the powers of the 
Local Governments. In almost every sphere of 
their activity these governments had wide discretion 
in applying the general policy to the details of 
administration. The increase in their powers of 
financial control made it possible for them to effect 
changes in lower establishments, and to prosecute 
a programme of public works without much obstruction 
from above. Moreover, when money was to be 
provided out of provincial resources, the Government 
of India did not normally feel its former hesitation 
in sanctioning schemes involving outlay of public 
funds. The only serious limit on their power was 
the capacity of their purse and the reaction on public 
opinion. There was now a disposition to leave as 
much responsibility to the Local Governments as 
practicable. A perusal of the Acts passed by the 
Indian legislature during this period will show that 
the execution of the laws, in many cases, not of 
Imperial importance, the rule-making power or 
in certain matters, even the enactment of laws was 
being assigned to the Provincial Governments. 1 
Generally the previous sanction of the Governor 
General in Council was required in important 
matters, or the grant of higher salaries, the framing 
of rules or the extension of some special laws to 

1 For example, the Bengal Tenancy Act 1885, Land 
Improvement Loans Act 1883, C. P. Tenancy Act 1883, 
Excise Act 1881, Burma Forests Act 1881, Indian 
Factories Act 1881, N. W. P. Rent Act 1881, Press Act 
1878, Stamps Act 1879, Northern India Canals and 
Drainage Act 1873, Criminal Procedure Code 1872, Land 
Revenue N. W. P. Act, etc. 



t$0 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL 

any particular territories. 1 But later, a tendency 
to substitute the phrase "subject* to general control" 
for "the previous sanction" of the Governor 
General in Council is discernible. 1 

Relaxation of control is most marked in respect 
of local self-government, grant of loans to local 
bodies or to agriculturists for relief of distress or 
land improvement, tenancy questions, land revenue 
administration, control over factories, industrial 
and educational affairs. In other departments the 
entire detail was wholly determined by the Local 
Governments subject to the general control by the 
Supreme Government in regard to policy. In the 
public works department too, the control was 
light, and the Local Governments were free to 
carry out their schemes of internal improvement 



1 For example, Agriculturists Loan Act (XII) of 1884, 
Sec. 4 (1), Indian Explosives Act (IV) 1884. Sections 5 and 
7; Land Improvement Loans Act (XIX) of 1883, Sec. 10; 
Bombay Revenue Jurisdiction Act, amendment (XV), of 
1880 Sec. 4 ; The Indian Merchant Shipping Act (VII) of 
1880; Arms Act (XI) of 1878; Indian Forest Act (VII) of 
1878 Sec. 1, 26; The Opium Act (I) of 1878, Sections 5 & 8; 
The Registration Act (III) of 1877, Sec. 14 (salaries); 
Scheduled Districts Act (XIV) of 1874 Sections 3 & 5, 
Dramatic Performances Act (XIX) of 1876 Sec. 10 (for 
extension of the Act to particular territories); Reformatory 
Schools Act (V) of 1876, Sec 4 ; Punjab Land Revenue Act 
1871, Sections 9, 11, 19, 65 and 66; Act for Registration 
of Criminal Tribes 1871; etc. 

1 As for example, under Sec. 39 (7) of the Bengal 
Tenancy Act (VIII) of 1881, Indian Tariff Act (XI) of 
1882 Sec. 5; Indian Emigration Act (I) of 1882, Section 8 
and 145; C.P. Land Revenue Act (XVIII) of 1881, 
Sections 5, 10 and 15; etc. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 191 

within the limits of their authority and subject to 
the general regulations of the Public Works 
Department Code. Thus, in determining their 
financial programme, in regulating the routine 
of administration and in legislating for iheir local 
needs, the Provincial Governments had gained such 
latitude as was compatible with the authority and 
responsibility of the Government of India for good 
government of the country. 

The development in this direction was universally 

welcomed. The early apprehensions of the 

"Imperialists" that the "partial 

Influences provincialisation" of finances would 
working in this ,. . . , 

behalf. lead to disintegration and 

dismemberment of the Empire had 
proved baseless. The "Federalists' 1 also had 
something to console them, though their complaint 
was that the measure did not go far enough. Clearly, 
the success of the project had increased the number 
of its supporters and the disposition of the 
Government of India was in the direction of further 
but gradual relaxation of control. The evils of 
over-centralisation were quite patent. From Lord 
Mayo to Lord Ripon, every Governor General strove 
to diminish it, not with the aim of establishing a 
federal constitution, but either with the desire of 
making the central control really effective and 
systematic, or for the purpose, however dimly 
conceived, of providing for the association of 
the Indians with the administration of the country. 
Even Lord Lytton was no half-hearted 
advocate of the policy of decentralisation. In one 



192 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

of his minutes he wrote, "I consider that the 
Government of India is still over-centralized in some 
respects. Ever since I have been at the head of this 
Government I have protested and acted against over- 
centralization; and I think I may claim some credit 
for the honesty of this assertion on account of the 
measures I have taken to diminish centralization... 
The principle of provincial responsibility is still 
susceptible of advantageous extension in many 

directions Administrative decentralization, 

rationally organized is, I am convinced, the 
policy best calculated to develop the resources 
and improve the administration of India." 1 
But he had no faith in the schemes of federation 
which would have freed certain functions of the 
Presidency Governments from the control of the 
Government of India. Lord Ripon's programme of 
local self-government and the infusion of non-official 
Indian element into local administration was based 
on a scheme of decentralisation depending on 
responsibility to the people through the agency of 
representative institutions.* There was thus, a 
gradual development of provincialisation till the 
commencement of the period of financial and foreign 
crisis in the middle of the eighties, and there were 
many forces helping it. 

1 Lord Lytton's Minute 17 March 1880. 

8 Government of India Resolution 20 September 1881; 
also 'Administrative Reforms in the Bombay Presidency* 
a paper read before the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, 
Quarterly Journal, Vol. IV, No. 4, 1881 p. 10. 



DECENTRALISATION IN ACTION 1870-1887 193 

The increase in the amount of work as a result 
of administrative progress made it impossible for the 
over-worked Secretariat of the Government of India 
to keep an eye on all the details of the government 
of a vast country. All that it could do was to set 
the policy and watch its operation by means of 
reports and returns. Moreover, the growing needs 
of the administration could not be met by a central 
financial system. The only remedy for that was 
to shift more and more of the burden on local 
and provincial units. Finally, the demand for 
representative councils controlling the executive 
government of the country was raised by the 
politically- minded public opinion of India. A 
Legislative Council which should make laws, discuss 
the budget and interpellate the executive was what 
the provincial 'political organisations and later the 
Indian National Congress prayed for. 1 This wish 
of the people could only be satisfied in the sphere 
of local or provincial administration. 
Decentralisation, however imperfect, was necessary 
for that. But as nothing was done to meet these 
political demands, the extent of decentralisation too 
was very limited. Nevertheless, the tendency was 

1 A petition to the House of Commons, contained in 
The Quarterly Journal of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha 
Vol. Ill No. 1, July 1880, pp. 5-7; Reports of the 
Indian National Congress. Vol. I, 1885, p. 24, VoL II 
1886, pp. 49, 99 etc.; The Annual Report of the Madras 
Mahajan Sabha 1885-86 containing an Address presented 
to Lord Dufferin in February 1886; Also Proceedings 
of the Bombay Presidency Association, British India 
Association, etc. 

P. 25 



194 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

markedly in that direction. The problem before the 
Government of India heretofore had been, like that 
of Austria, how to enlarge the "provincial powers 
for provincial purposes without weakening Imperial 
interests/ 1 and that was, to some extent, secured by 
the system introduced before 1887. a 



Lord Lytton's Minute 17 March 1880. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE SETBACK 1888-1906. 

The tendency to increase the discretion allowed 
to the Local Governments, which was a feature of 
the years immediately succeeding Lord Mayo's 
financial decentralisation scheme, is not so marked 
in the next period. Owing to many causes, the 
practice of the Government of India grew more 
rigid from about 1887 until the retirement of Lord 
Curzon in 1906. This change was accidental and 
temporary for there is no evidence of any design 
to go back on the established system of 
"provincialisation." The financial scheme of 
"Provincial Contracts" was not only in full force but 
was further extended. There was no diminution of 
the legal powers of the Local Governments; on the 
contrary, in many cases these powers were enlarged. 
So also their legislative and administrative functions. 
There is no visible tightening even of the financial 
authority as regulated by the various Codes and 
Resolutions of the Government of India. The only 
remarkable difference is in the manner in which the 
Government of India interpreted or used its powers. 
Provincial Governments were constantly reminded 
of their position. Their legal subordination was 
emphasised. The real character of the financial 
arrangements was laid bare. Unnder Lord Curzon, 
the superintending and controlling authority was 

196 



196 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

allowed full play. These methods, without effecting 
any alteration in the financial or administrative 
framework, led to a setback, resented by the Local 
Governments and denounced by public opinion. 

Financial difficulties disposed the Secretary of 

State Co rigorous economy and the avoidance of new 

outlay. To meet the growing 

Govern 1 nfeHVJ military and exchange charges, he 

interpretation of wanted "to keep within strict limits 

t h e nature of expen diture from the provincial 
Provincial if _ __ . , , . 

Contract. revenues. 1 l He reminded the 

Government of India that 
"expenditure authorized during the currency of an 
agreement, on the ground that the funds of the 
Provincial Governments are adequate to meet it, will 
make it more difficult for the Imperial Government, 
in framing a new agreement to claim its full share 
of the improvement which may have taken place, 
and, therefore, additional payments should only be 
sanctioned when really necessary and not merely 
because the balance of the particular Provincial 
Government may be able to meet the expenditure at 
the moment."* A year later he emphasised the 
point further, and suggested that reforms however 
desirable should be postponed till the return of 
normal financial conditions. 8 



1 Secretary of State's Financial Despatch No. 191, 
Sth July 1883 and No. 183 of 28th June 1883. 

* Secretary of State's Financial Despatch No. 158, 
10th August 1893. 

* Secretary of State's Financial Despatch No. 144, 
26 July 1894. He wrote; "This observation, ..has also an 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 197 

The Government of India, on its part, never 
admitted the claim of the Local Governments 
to a continuous undisturbed enjoyment of the 
revenues assigned to them. Besides the occasional 
absorption of their balances, in times of 
emergency, 1 it declared its right to resume that 
share of the growth of revenue which it did not 
consider necessary for provincial expenditure at the 
end of the period of the contract. 8 Local 
Governments and some non-officials condemned this 
practice as an infringement of the "Provincial 
Contract," 8 but the Government of India justified 
its action by the terms of the contract, and on many 
occasions explained the main principles of the 
scheme. The policy of the Government of India 



important bearing on those charges which fall on 
provincial revenues for, although the readjustment may 
be deferred till 1897, the growth of provincial expenditure 
may seriously affect the power of your Government to 
obtain an adequate share of the normal inprovement in the 
revenues." 

1 Contributions were levied in 1886, 1890-91 and 
1894-95 owing to the Burmese War or fall in Exchange 
amounting to Rs. 1295000 besides those levied during 
the Afghan War. (Evidence of Sir H. Waterfield. 
Expenditure Commission, Vol. I,) Also in 1889-90 to a total 
of Rs. 740000 (Financial Statement 1889-90). 

2 Resolution Finance Department, No. 458, 28 January 
1887 

8 See the letters of the Local Governments at the time 
of the revision of contract in 1897; also the speeches in the 
Budget debate of 1897; and the speeches of Hoa'ble Rai 
Sri Ram Bahadur, from 1901 to 1904 and Hon'ble R. M. 
Sayani in 1896 (Proceedings of the Legislative Council of 
India 1901-1904 and 1896). 



198 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

daring this period is clearly enunciated in these 
statements. 

The Supreme Government did not recognise the 
inalienable right of the Local Governments to the 
revenues administered by them. It held "that the 
revenues assigned to them are the revenues of India, 
though alienated for a term to provincial uses with 
a view to their better and more economical 
administration/' 1 and that the Government of India 
had a "primary lien on all revenues collected/' 
except the purely local duties. 2 Under the system 
of "Provincial Contract" the authority over certain 
revenue and expenditure was delegated to the Local 
Governments "for a time only/' and at its expiration 
the Government of India resumed full authority to 
settle anew the conditions of fresh delegation for a 
new term, 8 In the words of the Secretary of State 
"these agreements are of the nature of a budget 
made for five years instead of for a single year."* 
While, therefore, permitting the Local Governments 
to use the growth of revenue for provincial 
expenditure during the currency of the "Contract/ 1 
the Government of India reserved the same right 
of limiting the expenditure of any province, which it 

1 Financial Statement 1887, para 43. 

* Sir Edward Law, Finance Member, Budget Debate 
1902. Proceedings of the Legislative Council 1902 p. 196. 

8 Resolution No. 4255 A (Finance) 6 October 1896, 
para 4, 

4 Secretary of State's Despatch No. 116, 21 June 1894, 
para 9. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 199 

could exercise if the expenditure had remained 
Imperial. 1 

Two conclusions follow from this, first, that the 
Government of India set apart, for a specified period 
only, so much of its revenues as it could reasonably 
expect to spare, to meet the civil expenditure placed 
under provincial control, and second, that at the 
expiry of the term, the revision of the "Contract 11 
was determined by the prior claims of the Supreme 
Government on the revenues, because of the more 
important services which it retained under its direct 
management. 2 The arrangement was essentially 
administrative; the Government of India delegating 
its powers to the Local Governments over such 
subjects as could be better managed by devolving 
responsibility on them. 8 The sole points to which 



1 Resolution, 6 October 1896, para 6. 
* Resolution, 28 January 1887, para 3. 
8 The Government of India made it clear to the 
Government of Bombay. Letter No, 506, 6 February 1897. 

"It was never intended to draw a sharp line of distinction 
between subjects of expenditure from which the people 
of Bombay derive direct benefit, and the subjects of 
expenditure from which they did not, and to separate off 
the former into an account from which the latter 
should be excluded. The Government of Bombay are 
regarded as the agents of the Government of India for 
the administration and control of revenue and expenditure 
of both kinds; and the object of the Provincial system 
of finance is to give to the Local Government fuller 
powers of administration and control than it would 
otherwise be possible to assign to it. The sole question 
in respect of the items which the Government of Bombay 
would exclude from the financial account (some items 
which they thought should be Imperial) is whether they 



200 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the Government of India addressed itself on the 
occasions of the revision of the contract were to 
find out the existing standard of expenditure in 
the province, to decide if that expenditure must be 
provided for by an assignment of Imperial revenue, 
and to fix the revenues sufficient for the purpose. 1 
It was neither essential nor was it the intention 
of the Supreme Government to review the financial 
needs of the province or to allocate funds on any 
equitable basis in proportion to the revenues collected 
therein. The chief aim of the Government of 
India was to set a limit to the demands of the 
Local Governments for a time, and to secure 
"a deliberate and steady rate of progress in desirable 
expenditure. 11 

The Government of India regarded periodical 
revisions of the settlement as necessary to that 
control which the Imperial Government ought to 

can be more effectively administered and controlled by 
the Local Government, which through its officers is on 
the spot, than by the more distant Government of India 
who cannot possess the same means either of information 

or of direction and control The question which arises 

in each case is not whether it is just or unjust to debit 
certain charges to the Provincial account, or whether 
Provincial account will gain or will lose certain advantages 
by this being done. It is purely the administrative 
question whether the administration and control of certain 
public matters are best retained in the hands of the Imperial 
Government or are delegated to the Local Government. 
If administrative control is devolved, then in ordinary 
cases, under the present financial constitution, the financial 
responsibility follows." 

1 Letter to Bengal No. 1250A. 17 March 1897. Thomas: 
Federal Finance iq India, pp. 254 261. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 20] 

keep over the disbursement of revenue. For two 
reasons it decided that the time was not ripe for 
a permanent contract, namely that there could be 
no certainty of a steady progress of revenue and 
that the Government of India, must step in to relieve 
the Provincial Government by additional assignments 
in case of famine and other abnormal disaster. 
Moreover, when the spending authorities had no 
responsibility for taxation there could be no incentive 
to economy, with the result that growth of income 
was liable to be used for increase of expenditure. 
The Government of India apprehended that in 
such a case any permanent assignment would 
act as a direct hindrance to the remission of 
taxation. 1 The revisions were used to limit 
general provincial expenditure with reference to 
the financial requirements of India as a whole, 
so as to assist the poorer provinces with 
the increments of revenue arising from the 
growing wealth and prosperity of the country. 1 The 
theory of quinquennial settlement held the field for 
many years even though a strong protest was made 
by some Local Governments and non-officials. 8 
The Government of India was not in a position at 
first to forego any opportunity of replenishing its 
depleted resources; and later when surplus budgets 



1 Evidence of Mr. Jacob Q. 20033, and Sir H. 
Water field Q.588, before Indian Expenditure Commission. 

3 Resolution, 6 October 1896. 

8 For example, Letter from Bombay No. 506 of 6 Feb. 
1897; and Bengal No. 61 IF of 27 January 1 1897. 

F. 26 



202 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

became a normal feature, the provincial finances 
were so crippled by famine and plague that the 
Supreme Government had to give them substantial 
doles to save their administration from utter 
dislocation. 

In view of the clear exposition of the character 
of the "Provincial Contract," it is surprising to find 
statements frequently being made that the 
arrangement was not equitable, or that the people 
of a particular province "contribute more largely 
to the Imperial fisc" than the other provinces, or 
that the control exercised by the Central Government 
in enforcing the budget rules and in insisting on the 
minimum provincial balances was unwarranted or 
undesirable. 1 Since the revenues were Imperial 
revenues and the Secretary of State had not 
relinquished his statutory control over any part 
of them, and the Government of India was 
responsible to the Secretary of State, and the 
Provincial Governments were agents of the 
Central Government, such contentions were 
without foundation. The Government of India 
had delegated some of its authority to the 
Local Governments to be exercised by them 
subject to the conditions laid down. These 



1 For example, speech of Sir A. Mackenzie, Lieutenant 
Governor of Bengal, in the budget debate of 1896 as 
well as other speeches by the non-official members, as 
for example, of Mr. Sayani, Mr. Anand Charlu etc. Also 
see Rai Sri Ram Bahadur's speech dated 27 March 1901 
(Proc. Legislative Council 1901 p. 243), and his speech 
dated 26 March 1902 (Proc. Leg. CoMnqil 1902, p. 154), 



TttB SETBACK 1 88 8-1 906 203 

rules, which were framed in 1877, were further 
systematised in 1892 and 1897. 1 They declared 
most unequivocally the right of the Government of 
India to issue "instructions to Local Governments 
on general or particular matters affecting the 
transferred revenues and services," when the 
Governor General in Council considered it expedient 
to interfere with their discretion. "The powers," it 
was stated, "vested in the Local Governments by 
this Resolution are subject to the general supervision 
and control of the Government of India/ 1 * The 
Government of India had transferred such powers 
only as it possessed in regard to the provincial or 
divided heads, without affecting in any manner the 
authority of the Secretary of State. In all cases in 
which his sanction was necessary, final orders could 
not be passed by the Local Governments without 
reference to the Government of India. 8 The orders 
of the Secretary of State were however required "in 
all matters of grave financial importance and in 
certain minor matters/ 1 * Under the existing law, 
it was futile to expect any substantial relaxation of 
control by the Government of India. 

The framework of the regulations of 1877 
under which the financial powers of the Local 
Governments were to be exercised was not 



1 Resolutions, 27 March 1877; No. 1142 of 17 March 
1892 and No. 3531 A of 11 August 1897. 

* Resolution, 17 March 1892, para 2. 
8 Ibid, para 3. 

* Resolution, 11 August 1897, para 3, 



204 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

substantially modified by later amendments, though 

some changes in detail were made both in 1892 

and 1897. Moreover, the character 

Limitations o f the delegated powers was then 
on Provincial , . , ,, ., **,., , 
authority: c l ear ly defined. 1 While enhancing 

Finance the authority of the Local 

Governments in respect of grant 
of loans to local bodies, 8 "landholders and 
notabilities," and advances to cultivators subject to 
the limitations on the rate of interest and period 
of loan, 8 the general effect of these amendments 
was to emphasise the budget rules and restrictions 
on the withdrawals from the provincial balances, 
the minimum of which was fixed in 1892.* To 
prevent frequent demands for further assignments 
whenever the Goverrivnent of India pressed for 
reform in any of the transferred services, a clause 
was added in 1897 that the financial settlement was 
a "consolidated one, and not a collection of separate 

1 See paras 2 & 3 of Resolution of 17 March 1892 and 
paras 3, 14 and 15 of the Resolution of 11 August 1897. 

8 Para. 7, Resolution of 1892. 

9 Paras. 7 & 8, Resolution of 1897. 
4 Para. 6, Resolution of 1892. 

The minimum balances were: 

C. P 8 lakhs 

Lower Burma 6 lakhs 

Assam -.5 lakhs 

Bengal 20 lakhs 

N.W.P. &Oudh...20 lakhs 

Punjab 10 lakhs 

Madras 20 lakhs 

Bombay ,20 lakbs 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 205 

settlements for each provincial head/ 1 and that 
the Local Governments must "maintain all provincial 
services in a state of administrative efficiency, 
providing any increased expenditure necessary for 
the purpose either from savings by economical 
administration, or from {development of revenues. 1 ' 1 
The budget estimates of the Local Governments 
required the final approval of the Government of 
India, "not for the purpose of restricting the freedom 
of Provincial Governments but for accurate 
estimating." 9 But once the budget was sanctioned a 
Local Government could not authorise any expenditure 
involving an excess over the budget grant for the 
year for any provincial or divided major head 
without effecting reappropriation from some other 
similar head. The total budget grant could not 
be exceeded without the previous sanction of 
the Government of India. 8 Also if the Local 
Government desired to "incur considerable expenditure 
out of its accumulated balances" the proposals were 
to be sent to the Government of India for separate 
consideration. 4 

1 Para, 14, Resolution of 1897. 

* Royal Commission en Decentralisation Report, 
para. 81. Royal Commission on Indian Expenditure Report, 
p. 10, para 34 (2) : "The Finance Department.., considers 
the estimates with special reference to the rules under 
which the provinces administer revenue and expenditure, 
and to the probability of the estimates being realised, but 
it does not interfere with the discretion of the Provincial 
Government in details." 

9 Resolution, 17 March 1892, para 11. 

* Ibid, para'. 8. 



206 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

The Provincial Governments had very wide powers 
of reappropriation within the budget estimates, but 
every excess however trifling over the total grant 
was to be reported to the Government of India. 
The Central Government exercised a stricter control 
in this respect during this period. 1 In other 
directions the powers of the Local Governments 
were extended. They could sanction temporary 
appointments and deputations, the cost of which 
was wholly or partly provincial, up to a period of 
six months if jthe remuneration exceeded Rs. 250 
a month. a They were authorised to grant camp and 
travelling allowances, 8 and to sanction "petty or 
moderate increases of establishment subordinate to 
them, the cost of which is "Imperial" within the budget 
grant of the year/' 4 "An important extension of the 
scheme of decentralisation was effected by the 
establishment of the Provincial Loan Account," 

1 Resolution (Finance) No. 6056, 29 November 1889 
modified the rules in order .to secure stricter control. The 
same provisions were repeated in the rules of 1892 and 
1897. Again by Resolution (Finance) No. 3162 Ex. of 
30 April 1894, the Government of India enjoined strict 
economy and adherence to the budget estimates. Also, 
letter to Bengal in January 1895 : "the Local Government 
will recognise its obligation to keep its expenditure during 
the year within the amounts granted in the Budget orders 
for the service of the year." (Evidence of Sir H. 
Waterfield before Indian Expenditure Commission, Q. 811). 

* Rules sanctioned by the Secretary of State, 24 
February 1896. Public Proc, March 1896 No. 347. 

8 Resolution H. D. No. 6003,6 November 1887 ; Art 
1093 of C. S. R. 

4 Resolution (Finance) No. 6055, 29 November 1889. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 207 

whereby the Provincial Governments were 
empowered to grant loans to the local bodies, 
cultivators and landholders, within a limited amount 
fixed by the Supreme Government, and subject 
to the rules made under the various Acts. 1 
Further, within the prescribed limits, the Provincial 
Governments had the liberty to fix stamp rates 
and excise duty. 2 

Nevertheless, owing to the severe financial strain 
caused by the fall in exchange, famine and plague, 
the Supreme Government was compelled to use 
its powers to the utmost, and thus restrict the 
exercise of the supposed independence of the Local 
Governments under the system of "Provincial 
Contract." Occasionally, it was even constrained 
to call for contribution from the Provincial 
Governments in a way that demolished, as waa 
alleged by the Local Governments, the very 
foundations of the "Contract." 8 On the other hand, 



1 Moral and Material Progress Report 1888-89, p. 29. 
Resolution (Finance) No. 13, 1 January 1889. 

8 Indian Expenditure Commission, Sir H. Waterfield's 
Evidence, Q. 261 and 766-8. An instance of delegation 
of authority is provided by the permission granted to 
the Chief ! Commissioner of Burma to dispose finally 
of petty cases in which the expenditure involved is 
inconsiderable and in which no standing orders of the 
Government of India are infringed. Public Proc. 
November 1891, No. 33. 

8 The Lieutenant Governor of Bengal in a speech in 
1890 said: "it must be admitted that, to take a contribution 
under any circumstances from a Provincial Government 
during the period of contract, cuts at the basis on which 
(hat contract system is founded." 



208 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

when the Local Governments were hard hit, 
it came forward to help them in restoring 
their administration. 1 Such interposition of the 
supreme authority was made in the interests of 
economy or of the solvency of the state for which 
the Supreme Government was wholly responsible. 
No doubt there was clamour against restrictions, 
but the circumstances were exceptional- Till 1898 
there does not seem to have been any deliberate 
effort to diminish the discretion of the Provincial 
Governments. 

No substantial change was introduced by the 
Indian Council's Act of 1892 in the powers of the 
Governor General over local 
legislation. Nor was any alteration 
made in the executive orders, which limited the 
freedom of the Local Governments to introduce 
legislative measures into their councils. 1 
Nonetheless, the new Act marked a definite 
constitutional advance. Political Indian opinion for 
many years past had demanded the enlargement of the 
Legislative Councils, the introduction of an elective 
element, and the extension of the functions of the 
Councils so as to enable them to discuss the 



1 For example, grants made to Government of 
N. W. P. in 1897-8. Financial Statement 1897-98, para 62. 

* Despatch of Secretary of State No. 35, 1 Dec. 1862, 
re, penal clauses. Despatch of Secretary of State No. 
51, 24 Nov. 1863 re, creation of offices. Despatch of 
Secretary of State No. 9, 31 March 1874, re, previous 
report to Secretary of State* Confidential Blue Book re, 
executive rules. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 209 

budget and to interpellate the executive. 1 The 
establishment of representative government was 
the main plank of the programme of the Indian 
National Congress.* By providing for a larger 
non-official element, selected by indirect election, 
and by giving the right of discussing the budget, 
though not of dividing on it, or passing any 
resolutions upon it, the British Government effected 
a marked change in the character of the Indian 
legislatures. The main purpose of these reforms 
was to associate Indian gentlemen of experience 
and ability with the administration so that the 
various Governments might "be able to shape their 
course with the advantage of a far more distinct 
knowledge of the wishes and feelings of the 
communities with whose interests they may be 
required to deal than has hitherto been the case. 118 
But there could be no possibility of subordinating 
the executive to the legislature, which explains the 
very ineffective provisions regarding the discussion of 
the budget and the rules framed under them. 
Transference of control over the budget to the 
Legislative Council would have required a 
devolution of powers of the Secretary of State and 
the Government of India to the Local Governments. 



1 See Proceedings of the Sarvajanik Sabha Poona, 
Mahajana Sabha Madras, British Indian Association and 
East India Association, Calcutta. 

1 Proceedings of the Indian National Congress, 1885 
to 1890. 

8 Lord Dufferin's Minute, quoted in Report on Indian 
Constitutional Reforms, p. 35. , ( 

v. 27 ^ 



210 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Financial decentralisation bad not as yet nearly 
reached that point. The result was the absurd 
formality of discussing budgets already approved by 
the Governor General in Council and little likely to 
be modified. 1 

This conclusion is borne out by the practice of 
making the financial statement in the local council 
in the month of April * after the budget had finally 
been sanctioned by the Government of India. That 
Government was not prepared to alter this system. 
The Government of Madras had requested the 
Supreme Government to permit it to discuss the 
financial estimate in January instead of April before 
the budget was sanctioned by the latter, "so that 
the advantage of non-official criticism may be 
available for the estimates of the year." 2 But the 
Governor General in Council rejected the suggestion 
with the remark that "it seems to be clearly 
undesirable that the discussion in council should 
take place while the budget is still under their 
consideration/ 98 In the circumstances, this power 

1 The Government of India informed the Government 
of Madras that the main object of permitting the discussion 
of the budget "is to afford the Local Government 
information as to the manner in which its financial 
arrangements are viewed by the most enlightened opinion 
in the Presidency, and thus to furnish the means, when 
provision for future years is being considered of meeting 
objections and removing defects which the discussion may 
bring to light in its fiscal administration". Letter to 
Madras No. 1805 H. D. 15 August. 1892. 

1 Letter from Madras to the Government of India 
No. 237, 6 March 1893. 

Letter to Madras No. 679, 17 May 1893. 



TtiE SETBACK 1888-1906 21 1 

of the Legislative Council remained wholly 
ineffective. 

The local legislatures passed laws relating to 
subjects of local concern. 1 Before its introduction every 
bill in draft was still reviewed by the Government 
of India under one provision of the law or another. 
But the practice of previous scrutiny of the Bills 
seems to have been tightened during this period. 
The Government of India examined the principles 
underlying the Bills in order to secure their harmony 
with its established policy. For example, the 
Government of Madras could not get permission to 
amend Act XX of 1863 for the control of Hindu 
religious endowments in that Presidency so as to 
remove "widespread and recognised abuses," 1 
because the Supreme Government considered the 
measure to be opposed to its policy of 
non-interference by the executive government in 
religious matters. 8 Very often, even while no 
objection was taken to the penal clauses, the 
attention of the Local Government concerned was 
invited to the other clauses and definite suggestions 
were made for the improvement of the Bills. 4 The 



1 To the three existing local councils were added 
those of the North Western Provinces in 1887 and of 
Burma and the Punjab in 1897, the last two differing from 
the rest both in constitution and functions. 

2 Letter from Madras to Government of India, No. 73 
(Legislative) 26 May 1894. 

8 Letter to Madras No. 1485 (Public) 7 September 1894. 

* Letter to Bombay No. 1546 (Judicial) 27 September 
1888: suggestions for the improvement of the proposed 
Bill for village sanitation, 



212 ORIGINS 09 PROVINCIAL AttTONOltY 

need of uniformity in respect of penalties, general 
outlines and main principles was emphasised in 
many cases, the tendency being most marked in 
these years in regard to police and sanitary 
legislation. 1 The Supreme Government was not 
prepared to permit any substantial departure from 
the principles of police organisation as laid down 
in Act V of 1861 and Act III of 1888 of the Indian 
Council. Even the re-enactment of these Acts in 
the local council was recommended. 8 

Perhaps owing to the political importance of 
the police department, the Government of India's 
interference was greater in police legislation at this 
time; and special orders were issued that every 
police Bill must be submitted for sanction. 8 For 



1 For instance, suggestions in regard to Madras draft 
Bill "to provide for the prevention and control of petty 
nuisances. 11 (Letter to Madras No. 1860 of 27 December 
1888.) "In the opinion of the Government of India any 
marked difference' in the penalties for petty offences of the 
same class in different parts of British India should as far 
as possible be avoided/' Also, Letter to Bombay No. 95 
(Police) 18 Feb. 1896, containing remarks on the Bill 
to amend Bombay District Police Act of 1890. Also, 
Letter to Bengal No. 508, 23 August 1894. Letter to 
Bombay, No. 77, 14 February 1889. 

* Letter to Bombay No. 1712, 9 November 1888 on 
the draft Bill to amend the law for the regulation of 
the district police in the Presidency of Bombay. Also 
Letter to Madras No. 496 (Police) 22nd August 
1894. Letter to Madras No. 299 (Police) 2nd May 
1895. 

' Judicial Proceedings No. 289-290 June 1893 ; Police 
Proceedings, October 1893. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 

example, the draft Bills amending section 49 of Act 
XXIV of 1859 (Madras) and the Bombay District 
Police Act of 1890, were submitted to the 
Government of India even though the previous 
sanction of the Governor General was not required, 
by the Governments of Madras and Bombay 
respectively, on account of their "political 
importance" and because of the previous 
correspondence with the Government of India. 1 
Hardly less vigilance was exhibited in local self- 
government or sanitary legislation, the purpose being 
to prevent great variations from province to province 
in the main principles, as for example in the grant of 
remuneration to the members of municipalities 
or in the regulation of the pensions of municipal 
employees.* 

Without being dogmatic, it may be stated that 
the Supreme Government continued to control 
effectively the course of entire local legislation. 
Though the Secretary of State in forwarding the 



1 Letter from Bombay No. 358, 25 October 1895. 
Letter from Madras No. 987 (Judicial) 25 April 1894. 

2 Letter to Bombay No. 159 (Municipal) 18 November 
1887, relating to pensions to municipal employees. 
Letter to N. W. P. No. 2005, 26 December 1891. 
Letter to Bengal No. 51, 11 April 1892. Municipal 
Proceedings June 1892 Nos. 1-16 ; September 
1892. Nos. 16-20, 37-39; letter to Bengal No. 85, 27 
September 1892. Letter lo Madras No. 5 (Municipal) 
24 Januray 1894 and previous letter No. 1373 of 
8 November 1873 ; remuneration to members of 
inufassil municipalities). 



2l4 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTON6M* 

statute of 1892 declared its object to be "a more 
extensive devolution upon provincial councils of the 
legislative business that particularly concerns the 
populations with whose needs and circumstances 
those councils should be specially conversant" owing 
to the presence of competent non-official members, 1 
in practice the superior control does not seem to 
have been relaxed indeed, the tendency was in the 
other direction. With a larger non-official element 
drawn from the professional classes, the local 
councils were no longer composed of "mere 
no bodies," 2 and discussions became more critical 
of government measures, The debates influenced 
the tone of the Indian press and had effect on a 
growing volume of public opinion. The Government 
of India desired to avoid giving any opportunity 
to the political bodies to score against itself. Hence, 
there was a greater readiness to interfere in local 
projects of legislation, so much so that the Royal 
Commission on Decentralisation remarked that "no 
legislation" can be introduced into these councils 
by the Local Governments without having been 
examined by the Government of India." 8 But there 
was no attempt to trench upon the functions 
of the provincial Legislative Councils. Generally 
all measures of a local character were dealt with 
by them and the Indian Legislative Council avoided 

1 Despatch of the Secretary of State No. 15 (Legislative) 
.30 June 1892. 

* Proceedings of the Indian National Congress, 1886. 
8 R. C. D. Report, p. 15, para 28. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 215 

the discussion of purely local subjects, relating to 
the provinces which had their councils, 1 unless the 
matter involved some principle.* 

Administratively, the period from the Viceroyalty 
of Lord Dufferin to that of Lord Curzon was one 



1 In 1895, Hon'ble Mr. Mohini Mohan Roy moved a 
Bill to amend Bengal Regulation VIII of 1819 relating 
to the rights of patni taluqdars. Mr. MacDonnell and 
Sir J. Westland opposed it on the ground that it was 
a local affair which should be dealt with by the Legislative 
Council of Bengal. (Proceedings of L. C. 14 March 1895 
p. 338). 

Also in 1896, while introducing the Bill to amend 
the Excise Act of 1881, Sir J. Westland said that the 
Indian Legislative Council would not deal with these 
matters so far as they relate to the bigger provinces 
of Bengal, Madras and Bombay as they had their own 
legislation on such matters and whatever legislation was 
necessary would be undertaken by their Legislative 
Councils. (Proceedings of L. C. 16 January 1896, p, 25). 

* For instance, when Bombay Government submitted 
draft of a Bill to enable the Governor in Council to 
vest the three Commissioners of divisions in Bombay 
Presidency with the same powers of a Local Government 
which he could under Act V of 1868 delegate to 
Commissioner of Sind, for introduction into the local 
council, the Government of India had objection to taking 
by legislation wider powers of delegation than were 
needed or could be used, and required that a draft 
specifying the powers necessary to be delegated should 
be submitted to the Government of India for enactment 
by the Legislative Council of the Governor General The 
Government of India admitted that such a measure would 
be legally within the powers of the Bombay council, 
but considering "the importance of the matter, and 
the fact that the working of many Acts of the Supreme 
Council may be affected, it will be advisable/ to adhere 
to the proceedings followed in 1868 and to/ carry out 
the legislation in the council of the Governor Greoeral." 

(Letter to Bombay No. 656 H. D. 26 M^rch 1896.) 



216 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

of energetic reform. The system established 

immediately after the Mutiny was unable to withstand 

the test of the new standards. Public 

Administration, opinion both in England and India 

towards the end of the nineteenth 

century was more critical of existing abuses. The 

altered situation, too, made administration with 

the old machinery difficult, if not impossible. Hence 

the Government of India was constrained to 

undertake a programme of administrative reform in 

nearly all the departments of the state. 

Not much was achieved in the first few years, 
which were spent in enquiry and experiments. But 
the Government of Lord Curzon introduced important 
changes in quick succession. The discovery of 
defects and the necessity of imposing reforms 
on an unwilling conservative bureaucracy comprising 
the Local Governments led to a growing 
interference by the Government of India with 
the course of provincial administration. The 
reforming zeal and desire for thoroughness, so 
characteristic of Lord Curzon, made him treat the 
Local Governments as mere agencies of the 
Government of India, with the result that their 
discretion was greatly curtailed. 

The principles which determined the exercise 
of< : .cqntrol and supervision by the Supreme 
Government over the Local Governments underwent 
no change. The former abstained from meddling 
with detail. Yet there was a remarkable increase 
in the exercise of supreme control, because the 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 217 

occasions for defining policy and principles of 
administrative reform were more frequent. Specially 
Lord Curzon made such occasions when he 
found defects or lacunae and felt bound to put 
them right. 

The prevailing tendency may be gathered from 
a review of the policy of the Government of India 

in respect < i education, local self- 
Education, government, police and excise etc. 

In educational matters, for instance, 
the Government of India prescribed "general 
principles to be observed" for the guidance of 
educational administration. 1 It was wont to lay down 
"general instructions as to the conduct of educational 
work." In this period, the recommendations of the 
Education Commission of 1882 were adopted by the 
Government of India as the basis for its educational 
policy, and for many years afterwards the Local 
Governments were exhorted to take action upon one 
or the other of the proposed reforms. 2 At the same 
time, owing to financial stringency, the Supreme 
Government was constrained to restrict the funds 
devoted to secondary and higher education and 
emphasise adherence to the principle of gradual 
withdrawal of government in favour of 'local effort 
and private enterprise," in the management of such 



1 Evidence of Dr. Giles, Director General^-a^^ 
Decentralisation Commission, Vol. X. J74$~^^^'^L 

2 Resolution of 23 October 188j^K^Educatioa 
Commission Report; For the subsequein6tructioag{^ 
"Education Progress in India", l887-l|(S<r6yi!fa3r.^ \. 

F. 28 



218 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

institutions. 1 In pressing these measures on their 
attention, the Government of India often showed a 
tendency towards rigidity, perhaps "due to 
misapprehension of local aims and conditions." 

The Education Commission had made certain 
recommendations regarding the enforcement of 
discipline and moral training in schools and 
colleges. 2 But action was not taken on them by 
the Government of India before 1887 when it drew 
the attention of the Local Governments "to the 
growth of tendencies unfavourable to discipline and 
favourable to irreverence in the rising generation 
in India", and formulated for the consideration of 
the Local Governments certain suggestions with 
the "object of counteracting these tendencies." The 
proposed scheme included provision for physical 
training, corporal punishment for breaches of 
discipline, maintenance of good conduct registers, 
establishment of hostels, and training of teachers to 
be employed in the schools. 8 The replies of the 
Local Governments were favourable, and so the 
Government of India issued final orders on the subject. 4 
The Provincial Governments had "felt themselves 
fettered by want of funds", and so the Supreme 



1 Resolution H. D. (Education) No. 199 of 18th June 
1888. This Resolution also emphasised the subject of 
the training of teachers and moral training of pupils. 

* Report Education Commission. 1884, pp 190-192, 
227-229* 

3 Resolution H. D. Edn. No. 37, 31 December 1887. 

1 Resolution H, D. Edn. No. 6371-383,17 
August 1889. 



THE SETBACK 13884906 219 

Government re-emphasised the adoption of the 
principle that "the expenditure from provincial 
revenues on government educational institutions 
should not ordinarily increase in proportion to the 
total expenditure, but should rather be a constantly 
diminishing quantity", 1 and pointed out that those 
recommendations should be carried into effect without 
"imposing any additional burden on provincial 
finances" by providing money from local sources 
or private benevolence, "or by enhancement of fees 
or by curtailing and readjusting existing expenditure." 
The instructions on the subject were elaborate and 
went beyond the mere enunciation of policy. 2 

Further the Supreme Government pressed for 
the bifurcation of high school studies by instituting 
a School Final Examination parallel to the 
University Entrance Examination, 5 It was adopted 
in many provinces. The Government of India 
arranged also for a quinquennial review of the 
progress of education in India. 4 Detailed reports 
and returns were called for from the Local 
Governments. The Supreme Government reviewed 
the consolidated report and made suggestions for 
improvement 5 The attention of the individual 

* Resolution H. D. Edn. No. 199 of 18 June 1888. 
8 Resolution 17 August 1889. 

3 Education Progress in India. Quinquennial Report 
by Nash 1887-1892. pp, 121-2. 

* The Quinquennial Review of the Progress of 
Education in India, Reports published by the Government 
of India, first published in 1886. 

5 Resolutions published with the Report. First 
Resolution was H. D. Edn. No. 199, 18 June 1888, 



220 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Local Governments was at the same time directed 
to "cases of failure and delay to carry out" specific 
recommendations of the Commission. 1 Another 
object which engaged the attention of the 
Government of India was the reorganisation of the 
educational service as a result of the enquiry and 
report of the Public Service Commission of 1887. 
A correspondence extending over more than six years 
ensued on the subject, culminating in the final 
orders of the Government of India in 1896, on 
every aspect of this reorganisation. 2 When Lord 
Curzon became Governor General, he found serious 
evils existing in the educational system both higher 
and elementary, and set himself to remove them. 8 
An Educational Conference was convened; a 
Universities Commission was appointed, and 
finally the Central Government published a 
Resolution incorporating a detailed programme of 
educational work for the guidance of the Local 
Governments. 4 To secure "community of principle 
and of aim" in the system of education, he appointed 

1 Letter to Madras and other Local Governments, 
Nos. 294-301 dated 9 August 1888 (Education Proc. 
September 1888 No. 104), 

2 Papers relating t-> the Reorganisation of the 
Educational Service in India from 1891-97. (H. D. 
Selections). Resolution No. 4/204-215 Edn. 23rd July 
1896. 

8 "'"The whole subject of education in this country... 
will, during my term of office have very earnest attention." 
Speech at the Convocation, Calcutta University, 11 Feb. 
1899. Curzon's Speeches, Vol. I, p. 53. 

* Resolution, 11 March 1904. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 221 

a Director-General of Education with the Government 
of India. 1 

Thus, while the Supreme Government 
recognised "the desirability and necessity of 
development in accordance with local needs and 
conditions/* it showed such great activity in 
prescribing general principles of educational policy 
during this period and insisting on action being 
taken on them by the Local Governments, that 
the latter had cause to complain of centralisation 
and interference even in the subject of education 
which they thought "properly appertains to the 
Local Government and not to the Central 
Government.'' 

But in respect of local self-governing institutions, 

the policy of relaxing control continued under Lord 

Lansdowne and Lord Elgin. The 

Local Stlf- Government of India had retained 
Government. , , l . 

authorisation or local taxation in 

its own hands, but it did not generally interfere 
except when octroi 2 or profession tax was so imposed 

1 Appointed in 1902. Curzon's speech at the 
Educational Conference 1901, 2 Sept. Speeches Vol. II 
p. 315. 

2 Secretary of State required a report on Octroi 
taxation, "together with a statement of your opinion 
whether all the abuses brought to notice.. -have now 
been satisfactorily dealt with 1 ' (Despatch No. 15, 27. 1. 87). 
The Government of India addressed all the Local 
Governments asking for report of action taken on the 
Resolution of 4 Nov. 1888. Letter to Central Provinces 
No. 87, 22 May 1888. 

Letter to Punjab No. 77, 12 August 1889, 



222 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMV 

as to affect disproportionately the military officers, 
civil government servants, and the poorer classes. 1 
Till 1889, sanction of the Governor General in 
Council was required for loans to local bodies, 
but owing to the rules made in that year 
obviating that course, the number of references 
to the Supreme Government fell off. 2 Nevertheless, 
the Government of India occasionally tried to direct 
the activities of the Municipal and Local Boards 
to services of public utility which it considered 
necessary for the country, as is illustrated by the 
repeated insistence on sanitary measures, particularly 
in rural areas, both in general Resolutions and 
letters to particular Local Governments on a review 

Letter to Punjab No. 6, 10 January 1891. 

Letter to Bombay No. 83, 26 Sept. 1892; asking 
Government of Bombay to suspend some Municipal Boards 
as an example, to secure the adherence of Municipal 
Boards to orders on Octroi- taxation. Municipal 
Proceedings of the Government of India in H. D. contain 
a large number of references on this question between 1887 
and 1898. 

1 Letter to Madras No. 72, 28 June 1887 on tax on 
trades and arts; also to N. W. P. No; 76. and to 
Madras No. 95, 16 June 1888; require the method on 
which the tax on trades was assessed should be thoroughly 
overhauled "and its incidence made more equal. His 
Excellency in Council trusts that measures may at once 
be taken to secure a proper assessment of the higher 
classes coupled with the exclusion of the lowest classes 
from the operation of the tax." Also letters to Madras 
No. 34 of 10 March, and No, 88 of 15 June 1896, 
relating to Profession Tax as affecting military 
officers. 

3 Financial Resolution No, 13, 1 January 1889. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 223 

of their reports. 1 For instance, it desired sanitary 
surveys to be made and in the case of Madras 
regretted that the amount budgetted for the purpose 
was allowed to lapse. 2 The Bengal Government 
was asked to be more active in pushing village 
sanitation and supply of pure water. 8 For many 
years the Government of India reviews of the annual 
reports of the Local Governments had sanitation as 
their main topic. But all these communications 
related generally to policy without aiming at 
any limitation of the discretion of the Local 
Governments. The control of the Government of 
India in this department was never very detailed; 
and it exercised its powers of supervision conferred 
by law by means of review of annual reports, by 

1 The Municipal Proceedings are full of correspondence 
and resolutions on the subject of sanitary reforms and 
plague relief between 1887 and 1898. Some of the 
important ones are given below : 

Letter to Bombay No. 82 of 22 July 1887. 

Letter to Bengal No. 95 of 30 July 1887. 

Letter to Madras No. 132, of 24 Sept. 1887 relating 
to the training of female nurses and promotion of medical 
education of females. Also improvement of "sanitary 
surroundings of the rural population of the province is 
one of gravest interest to the Government of India." 

Letter to Bengal No. 2, 15 March 1889 also to Madras 
No. 10 of 6 June 

Letter to N. W. P. No. 13, 11 Feb. 1893 (Vaccination). 

Resolution of Government of India H. D. (Sanitary) 
No. 3/212-225 27 July 1888. 

* Letter to Madras No. 132, 24 September 1887. 

8 Letter to Bengal No. 2, 15 Mareh 1889 urging the 
introduction of village unions. 



224 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

calling for occasional reports and by scrutinising the 
proceedings of the Local Governments in order to 
secure conformity to law and general principles. 

But the Government of India had more frequent 
need of interfering in the administration of jails, 

police and excise. The importance 
Law and Order, of these services cannot be doubted, 

for by reason of their contact 
with the people evils in them were sure to have 
serious effects. And at that time, the increase in 
crime in some provinces coupled with the general 
corruption and inefficiency of the police, the 
insanitnry conditions in the jails leading to greater 
convict mortal it v, nnd the defective rules of jail 
discipline, or the varied systems of excise 
management and growing intemperance of the 
people, became evils so serious as to lead to 
agitation. 1 The interposition of the Government 
of India was necessary and we find measures being 
taken by it to improve things, from time to time, 
till the year 1508. The method of enquiry by 
means of committees and conferences and then the 
formulation of detailed instructions for the guidance 
of the Local Governments in general Resolutions, 
was adopted, 2 The Government of India, as usual. 

1 cf. The resolutions ->f 'he Indian National Congress on 
Police and Excise administration Also thp deputations of 
the Temp? ranee Soci ty bo;h in England and India to the 
Secretary of St.tU- and tho Viceroy refpectively. Questions 
were asked in the Hou-e of Commons and papers were 
asked for on Excise administration in 1889 etc. 

2 As for example the Appointment of the Indian Excise 
Committee under the Resolution (Finance) No. 5001, 



THB SETBACK 1888*1906 225 

asked for reports on progress made, and suggested 
improvements where defects were revealed. 
By these means the Supreme Government 
influenced the working of these services to a greater 
extent than was considered proper by the Local 
Governments. 

The jail administration had followed the 
recommendations of the Commission of 1864 which 
had hoped that each Local Government, while 
accepting the system in principle would adapt it to 
local circumstances so as to secure "unity of purpose 
amid reasonable diversity of practice." But 
experience showed that the diversity in practice 
obscured the unity of purpose. Four separate Acts 
regulating jail administration existed in India. It 
had developed on divergent lines in the different 
provinces. To reduce this divergence a Commission 
was appointed in 1877 but no action was found 



Excise dated 7 September 1905, and the Resolutions on the 
Report of the Committee contained in the Parliamentary 
Paper entitled Government of India's Orders on Excise 
Committee Report; order of the Government of India 
No. 2994 Excise of 16 May 1907. Also improvements 
suggested or general lines of policy prescribed in respect 
of exise administration in Circular Letter No. 1925 S. R. 
30 April 1896, Letter to N. W. P. No. 4599, 28 October 
1896, and No. 4142 Ex. 22 September 1896, to Punjab 
No. 5006 Ex. 10 November 1807 etc. (Summary of the 
Measures of the Viceroyalty of Lord Elgin in the Finance 
Department. 1899 pp. 60-63.) General principles were laid 
down in the Government of India's Excise despatch No. 29 
of 4 February 1890 and Circular Letters to the Local 
Governments No. 2455 S. R. of 21 April 1904. Jail 
Commission Report of 1889. Also Police Commission of 
1902 and its Report as well as the Resolution on it. 

F.29 



226 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

possible on its recommendations. 1 The Government 
of India had to employ executive orders to secure 
uniformity, especially in matters of punishment 1 
and sanitation, but the success attained was 
inadequate. 8 Lord Dufferin appointed a Commission 
in 1888 to go into the question exhaustively. 
Diversity was considered wrong in principle because 
it sacrificed "that uniform enforcement of sentences 
which effective penal administration requires." The 
Governor General in Council held that "divergencies 
in regard to the cost of maintaining prisoners, in 
regard to the sanitary condition and in regard to 
discipline point to the existence of delects which it 
is desirable to remove". 4 The Committee 
recommended enactment of a single Prisons Act 
for the whole country. The Supreme Government, 
after discussing the question with the Local 
Governments, passed the Act in 1894 which defined 
the jail offences, and prescribed the punishments 

1 Sir Anthony MacDonnelPs Speeh on Prisons Act 
Amendment Bill. Proceedings of the Legislative Council 
of India 11 January 1894, pp. 17-19. 

8 In N. W. P. there were many cases (2142) in which 
solitary confinement was combined with reduced diet. 
The Government of India directed that this combined 
form of punishment should be used only when the offence 
to be punished was really a serious one. (Moral and 
Material Progress Report 1887-88 p. 47). Also efforts 
of the Government of India to secure removal of defects 
in the existing arrangements for the supervision of female 
convicts. Ibid p. 48. 

8 Sir Anthony MacDonnell's speech. Proceedings oi 
the Legislative Council 1894, pp-15, 23. 

* Resolution H, P, (Jails) 9 October 1888. 



THE SETBACK 1 888-1906 

for them together with diet, sanitary and disciplinary 
action. 1 The power to make rules under the law 
was taken by the Governor General in Council so 
that uniformity might be assured. 1 When the Bill 
was being discussed in the Legislative Council, the 
Lieutenant Governor of Bengal objected to the 
curtailment of the powers of the Local Government 
under some clauses, and pointed out the inadvisability 
of aiming at uniformity in details, such as in the 
weight of the handcuffs, diet or hours of hard labour. 8 
Sir A. MacDonnell in reply assured the Local 
Governments that there would be no "unnecessary 
interference on the part of the Supreme Government." 
He said that the only object was "to coordinate 
and bring into line all local effort.' 14 But this 
concentration of prison legislation greatly restricted 
the authority of the Local Governments, for the 
Supreme Government could now easily regulate 
even the details of jail administration by means of 
its rule-making power. It was customary for the 
Government of India after 1887 to review the jail 
reports of the different provinces not separately 
but in one survey which compared the administration 
of one province with another and issued general 
directions for the removal of the defects. 5 



i Prison Act IX of 1894. 

* Ibid Sec 59; Speech by Sir A. MacDonnell 1894. p. 15. 

8 Speech of the Lt. Governor of Bengal. 22 March 
1894 (Pro. Leg. pp. 223-26.) 

* Sir A. Mac Donnell's Speech (Pro. Leg, 1894. p. 230) 

* Resolution H. D. Jdl. No. 23/1609-197 October 1887, 
Resolution H. D. 23rd August 1889, 



228 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

The police administration also called for 
constant vigilance and supervision. It is difficult 
to say that the degree of control was greater during 
this period, but without the least doubt it may be 
affirmed that there ,was ino decrease in it. The 
growth of crime, particularly such as had an inter- 
provincial organisation, and the greater difficulty 
experienced "in bringing offenders to justice" led 
the Government of India to enquire into the whole 
question of police efficiency and the method of 
criminal justice. It was of the view that "the chief 
defect lies in the police," Hence it considered that, 
"a careful and comprehensive enquiry into the entire 
police organisation and administration, with a view 
to the introduction of the necessary improvements 
would be very desirable.' 11 But no Commission was 
appointed immediately . 

By occasional orders the Supreme Government 
had tried to remove some defects before the 
Viceroyalty of Lord Curzon. Such instructions 
related to the emoluments of the lower staff, the 
improvement of the procedure of criminal courts, 
the transfers of magistrates and supervision over 
them by the District Magistrate.* Besides, the 
Government of India maintained a close control 
over the general police administration. The 
reorganisation of police establishment apart from 



1 Letter to Madras and other Local Governments, No. 
630 etc. (Police) 23 Dec. 1888. 

* Letter to N. W. P. No. 377, 17 May 1890 and the 
other Governments. Circular Letter No. 418-426, 31 May 
1890, 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 229 

financial considerations, was required to conform to 
prescribed principles, and it was affirmed that the 
Local Governments had no power "of altering 
establishments in pursuance of a policy which in 
its administrative aspect requires the concurrence 
of the Government of India/ 11 Orders were also 
issued relating to establishment of Reserves* and 
the division between the armed and the unarmed 
force, its armament, discipline and training. 8 A scale 
of ammunition was prescribed. 4 A circular letter 
was sent to the Local Governments regulating 
the use of ammunition in dispersing riots, and they 
were made responsible for making such regulations 
as were necessary to ensure that the fullest warning 
was given before the police was ordered to fire on 
the mob. 5 Almost all matters of any importance 
concerning the preservation of law and order were 
required to pass under the review of the Government 
of India. 6 All important cases of crime were 
required to be reported to it, and it particularly 
desired to be kept informed of all riots, communal 
or otherwise. Moreover, it required the rules for 
the recruitment and examination of the police 
probationers and Assistant Superintendents to be 

1 Letter to Bombay No; 179, 17 March 1892 ; Letter 
to Burma No. 79, 15 February 1894. 

* Letter to Madras No. 192, 29 March 1889. 

8 Letter to N. W. P. No. 856, 14 December 1889. 

* Letter to Bengal No. 304, 5 June 1891. 

o Circular Letter No. 4/426-434 Police, 30 July 1894. 
6 For example Police proceedings 1894. 



230 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

submitted to it "to ensure that police recruits are 
uniformly treated in different parts of India." 1 

From the list of the foregoing cases it must be 
evident that the Government of India did not relax 
its control over the police administration. On the 
contrary, because of the growth of crime, the 
report of the Public Services Commission, and the 
frequent communal riots, all demanding an all-India 
policy, the Government of India was called upon to 
exercise its superintendence and supervision very 
frequently. 

In excise administration, also, the Government 
of India aimed at uniformity in principles, as public 
opinion was critical of its excise policy. 2 The 
attempt during this period was to establish the 
Central Distillery System as the uniform method of 
excise revenue collection, in place of the eight 
different systems which had developed in the various 
provinces. 8 Moreover, the Supreme Government 
desired deference being paid "to local public 
opinion in the matter of licensing liquor shops.' 14 
When Lord Elgin was Governor General, the 
Government of India once again sketched the 
general lines of policy which the Provincial 
Governments were asked to bear in mind in improving 

1 Letter to Bombay No. 40, 22 January 1892. 
8 See footnote 1 p. 224 ante. 

8 Despatch to Secretary of State No. 29, 4 February 

1890 and other papers on excise administration in 

Supplement to the Gazette of India March 1890; M. M. 
Prog. Report 1888-89. p. 75. 

* Circular Letter No. 3686 (Finance) 18 July 1889. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 231 

their local excise systems. Definite reforms were 
pressed in the North Western Provinces, the 
Punjab and the Central Provinces. 1 The situation 
did not, however, much improve and Lord Curzon 
was constrained to re-emphasise the policy of the 
Government of India in excise matters and to appoint 
a Committee to examine the excise administration 
of each province with a view to find out how far 
it was suited "to give the fullest practical effect to 
the general policy ."* Subsequent to the report of 
the Committee, the Government of India issued 
orders for carrying into effect its recommendations. 8 

Similarly in respect of famine relief 
administration, the government of Lord Lansdowne, 
on important defects being revealed in the working of 
the Famine Codes issued "full and final instructions 
on all important points 1 ', and arranged for the revision 
of the Codes in their light. 4 The duties of the 
Agricultural Department were prescribed f and 
elaborate directions were given regarding the 
classification of labourers and their minimum 

1 Summary of the Principal Measures of the Viceroyalty 
of Lord Elgin in the Finance Department. 1899 (Official 
Report) pp. 60-63. 

8 Resolution No. 5001. Exc., 7 September 1905; Excise 
Committee Report. 1906. 

8 Resolution No. 2994 Exc. 16 May 1907, and other 
Resolutions published in Parliamentary Paper entitled 
Government of India's Orders on Excise Committee Report. 
1907. 

4 Summary of the Principal Measures during the 
Viceroyalty of Lord Lansdowne in the Department of 
Revenue and Agriculture, pp, 6-7, 



232 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

wage. 1 So also, the Government of India, in its 
desire to remove the evils associated with 
temporary settlement of land revenue, had to issue 
"injunctions" to some of the Local Governments 
forbidding an elaborate classification of soils for the 
purpose of assessment at every fresh settlement. In 
the North Western Provinces, Sir Charles Crosthwaite 
accepted the principle by which land revenue was 
to rise "automatically with the rise in rentals without 
the periodical inquisition entailed by regular 
settlements." For the Punjab the principles upon 
which the assessments should be made were 
prescribed. The Government of India realised the 
injury caused by rigidity of the system of collecting 
land revenue, and tried to introduce elasticity, but 
without much success. 2 Further, Lord Lansdowne 
urged on the Governments of Madras and Central 
Provinces to improve the law regulating the relations 
of the landlord and the tenant, as the policy of 
the Government of India was to give the latter 
protection from the inequities of the landlord. 8 

Political opinion in the country was often inclined 
to associate the frequency of famine conditions with 
the land revenue policy of the government. 4 Lord 



1 Circular Letter No. 63-770. 19 December 1889. 

Resolution (Rev.) Letter No. 25-1, 10 Sept. 1891. 

Resolution (Rev.) Letter No. 6-44, 17 March 1892. 

Despatch to Secretary of State No. 2, 3 January 1894. 
8 Summary of the Principal Measures during the 
Viceroyalty of Lord Lansdowne, pp. 13-17. 

8 Ibid, paras 44-45. 

* The papers and writings of Mr. R. C. Dutt 
particularly. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 233 

Durzon therefore issued an elaborate Resolution in 
,902 rebutting the charges, and at the same time, 
ilearly explaining the policy of the Government of 
!ndia for the guidance of the Local Governments* 1 

The only matter of importance which engaged 
:he attention of the Government of India in the 
judicial administration was the jury system. 2 Earlier, 
.he Local Governments had been authorised to 
extend the system to particular offences or localities 
it their discretion. In its effort to reduce crime, the 
Supreme Government resolved on restricting the 
scope of the jury system both as regards offences 
and territories. The Local Governments were 
asked to exclude cases of murder and cuplable 
homicide from the cognizance of the juries and 
to withdraw the system of jury trial from 
undeveloped districts. The list of offences as 
adopted in Madras or the North Western Provinces 
was commended to the Government of Bombay. 
The Governments of Bengal and Assam were 
prompt in giving effect to these instructions, which 
led to public agitation. Memorials were sent to the 
Secretary of State who took the matter under his 



1 Resolution No. 1, 16 January 1902. 

a Judicial Proceedings, January 1893 Nos. 272-428 

Letter to Madras No. 1105, 25 August 1892 

Letter to Bombay No. 1106, 25 August 1892, and to 
other Local Governments. 

Despatch to Secretary of State No. 32 (Jdl.) 21 
Dec. 1892, 

Despatch to Secretary of State No, 1 (Jdl.) 4 Jan. 
F. 30 



234 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

consideration. 1 But this case provides an instance 
of how the Government of India interfered with 
the discretion conferred by law on the Local 
Government, in its desire to secure uniformity 
throughout the country. In respect of the judiciary 
otherwise there was no change in its control during 
this period. 

It was customary for the Local Governments to 
forward information to the Supreme Government 
regarding matters of political or administrative 
importance, but generally it was despatched 
sometime after the occurrence, and contained an 
account of the action taken by the government 
concerned. The Government of India regarded it 
as essential that news relating to such matters should 
reach it "at the earliest moment, since it is 
undesirable that the Governor General in Council 
should remain in ignorance of important events until 
they become generally known, while it may at any 
time become necessary for His Excellency in 
Council to take action in view of the possibility 
of their affecting a neighbouring province or Native 
State/ 1 Hence the Local Governments were 
asked in 1897 to instruct their local officers 
"to despatch direct to the Government of India 
duplicates of the telegrams in which they report 



1 For instance, the memorial presented to the Secretary 
of State by the inhabitants of Calcutta under the 
Chairmanship of Maharaja Durga Charan Law on 
23 December 1892. Also other memorials sent from 
Bengal. See Judicial Proceedings Japuary 1893 
NOS, 272-428. 



TftB SETBACK 1888-1906 235 

natters of importance to the Local Government;* 
ilso the Local Government was requested td 
end a summary of its orders and action taken 
ipon them to the Government of India. 1 The 
-rocal Governments protested and the order 
?as modified to the effect that the Commissioners 
if the divisions should despatch such telegrams.* 
The administrative supervision of the Government 
f India was further strengthened by it. Also the 
letermination of policy in matters of political 
ignificance as for instance the regulations under 
he Arms Act 8 or the rules relating to cow-killing 
n any town, 4 could not be left entirely to the 

1 Circular Letter H. D. Public No. 1432-41, 24 August 
.897. 

2 Telegram to N. W. P. No. 1939, 17 Sept 1897. 
Letter from Madras No. 1465, 10 November 1897, 

ind reply thereto No. 2702 of 30 December 1897. Also 
hat order was repeated by Lord Curzon. Speech in the 
Legislative Council by Lord Curzon on 18 Sept. 1903. 
Proceedings, pp. 193-4. 

8 Letter to Bombay No. 1309, 31 July 1894 in reply 
to Bombay Letter No. 3406 of 15 May 1894. 

"The Policy of the Government of India has hitherto 
been to refrain from any general amendment of the 
rules under the Arms Act, and they have adopted this 
policy owing to two considerations, viz. firstly that the 
rules do not at present press hardly on any class of 
people, and secondly that it is desirable to avoid bringing 
them unnecessarily under public discussion." The Indian 
National Congress passed every year a resolution on 
Arms Act. 

Also letter to Madras No. 1552. 31 May 1892; Letter 
to Madras No. 560, 21 March 1889. 

* Riot at Rohtak. Letter to the Punjab. No. 218 
H. D. 12 March 1890. (Police Proc. March 1890. No. 96). 



236 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Local Governments, and so the Supreme Government 
did not permit any alteration in such rules without its 
previous sanction. Moreover, the recruitment of the 
Indians to the public services or the adoption of the 
recommendations of the Public Services Commission 
into practice, was carefully watched by the 
Government of India. 1 

The character of the central control may be 

gathered from the foregoing narrative. The 

Government of India exercised its 

Character superintending authority to lay 
of Central, , . .., , 

Control. down the general principles and 

secure adherence of the provincial 
administration to its policy so outlined. There was 
no doubt a disposition to leave the details to the 
discretion of the Provincial Governments and for 
that purpose their legal and administrative powers 
were strengthened from time to time. Wider 
sanctioning authority in financial matters was 
conceded. Their authority under the different 
legislative enactments was enhanced. The tendency 
which had begun earlier, of relinquishing control 
in favour of the Local Governments over the various 



1 Notification No. 2159. H. D. 2 November 1892; 
Letter to Madras No. 2194, 10 November 1892 and to 
other Local Governments also, containing instructions 
regarding appointments to Provincial services; Letter to 
Bombay No. 336, 11 March 1895; Public Proc. September 
1895 Nos. 154-159. Also Circular Letter No. 1369-73 dated 
13 September 1895; Letters relating to Madras Provincial 
Civil Service (Public Proc. June 1896, Nos. 181-182), 
also rules relating to Judicial branch. Judicial Proceedings 
January 1893 Nos. 91-93. 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 237 

operations enjoined by law, subject, in certain cases 
only to "the previous sanction" or "the general 
control" of the Governor General in Council, was 
continued. Thus we find full authority being 
bestowed even in the making of rules under the 
Acts in respect of municipal administration, 1 Court 
of Wards or Government management of Private 
Estates, 2 and subject to the general control or the 
previous sanction of the Governor General in Council 
in respect of police administration, 8 excise, 4 jails, 5 
sale of petroleum 6 <and poisons 7 etc. Owing to 
this change, the frequency of references was greatly 
reduced. Nevertheless, the exercise of the 
constitutional authority of general supervision, the 
necessity of determining the policy of the state, and 
the frequent occurrence of natural calamities, financial 
stringency and serious political situations, brought into 
greater play the exercise of control by the Supreme 
Government giving an impression of the curtailment of 
the liberty of the Provincial Governments. It cannot 
be doubted that the Government of India sincerely 

1 For example, C. P. Village Sanitation Act. No. XI 
of 1902; C. P. Municipalities Act No. XVIII of 1889. 

8 Government management of Private Estates Act 
No. X of 1892. Sec. 7, 

8 Police Act III of 1888 and the Police Amendment 
Act VIII of 1895, 

* Excise Act XII of 1894. Sections 12,14 and 19. 

6 Prisons Act IX of 1894. Sections 59 and 60 (General 
control). 

6 Petroleum Act VIII of 1899, Sec. 9. 

7 Poisons Act I of 1894. Sec. 2,5 and 6. 



238 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

desired to extend the system of "decentralisation 11 in 
matter of detail, but no appreciable progress was 
effected during this period in that direction. A 
further development of that principle was checked 
because of many important factors which were 
working at the time. 

Mention has been made before of the financial 

difficulties of the government which compelled the 

supreme authority to insist on 

Causes retarding economy and thus restrict the 

further progress r r _ 

of decentralisa- freedom of the Local Governments 

tion. to incur expenditure out of the 

provincial revenues. Further, the 
greater activity exhibited in improving the 
administrative system and bringing it into conformity 
with the general policy of the government led to 
constant enquiries by the Supreme Government and 
the prescribing of the main lines for the guidance 
of the Provincial Governments. It was impossible 
for the Government of India to leave them 
uncontrolled for its aim at the time was to secure 
as much uniformity as feasible. The growth of 
education and the facility of communication had 
broken the barriers between distant provinces. A 
common standard of ideas, customs and manners 
was developing in the country. There was not much 
difference between an educated Tamil of the south 
and an educated Punjabi or Bengali of the north. 
The press had made it easier for the educated to 
know what was happening in the other parts of the 
country. The grievances of one province or 
one district could easily become the grievances 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 239 

of another. A solidarity of interest and feeling was 
coming into being which was greatly helped by the 
birth of the Indian National; Congress. In this 
disposition of public opinion, the Government of 
India could not tolerate one set of principles in 
one province and a different one in another. 
Barring the backward tracts, uniform progress in 
administration was not only desirable but essential 
for the wakefulness of the press, and the public 
opinion could easily agitate even over local 
shortcomings. Besides, local matters led often to 
petitions, memorials, resolutions and public meetings 
and interpellations in the councils. Even in 
England, the Opposition would occasionally put 
questions or move for papers in the House of 
Commons. This watchfulness of the public opinion 
both in India and England encouraged the 
intervention of the Government of India in provincial 
administration. The non-official opinion regarded 
the provincial administration with suspicion and 
looked to the Central Government for reform, 
desiring often that the latter should enforce its views 
on the Local Governments. Mr. D. E. Wacha 
speaking at the seventeenth Congress "devoutly 
hoped that the beneficent intentions and instructions 
of the Government of India with regard to famine 
will everywhere be followed with scrupulous care 
and faithfulness." He feared that the Local 
Governments, left to themselves, would "economise 
expenditure to a dangerously narrow limit." Hence 
he wished "this tendency on the part of the 
subordinate administrations. ..to be carefully watched 



240 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

and checked, as, if unwatched and uncontrolled from 
above, it is prolific of the greatest mischief to 
the starving population/ 11 These remarks were 
characteristic of the period. The repeated visitations 
of famine and plague also made it necessary for 
the Government of India to step in to provide 
adequate relief. Thus we find that owing to the 
above mentioned factors during this period the 
Supreme Government was constrained to exercise 
its authority both financial and administrative to 
an extent which seemed to be incompatible with 
financial decentralisation. 

A feeling, however, was growing up that 
decentralisation in finance should be pushed 
a stage further. The Local 
The direction in Governments were dissatisfied with 
could bfrnade' the quinquennial settlements and 
Schemes for were vehemently opposed to the 

fi n a n c i a 1 rev j s j ons j n favour of the Central 
readjustment. - 

1888-1897. Government. They chared under 

the restrictions imposed on their 
authority both financial and administrative. Hence, 
to improve matters they suggested a permanent 
division of revenues and expenditure between the 
supreme and the subordinate governments so that 
the latter could have an uninterrupted use of the 
provincial revenues. Continuity and certainty were 
pointed out as the advantages of the proposed 

1 Proc. Indian National Congcess 1901. pp. 32-33 
Presidential Address. 

* Banner ji, pp. 116-117, 



THE SBTBACK 1888-1906 241 

measure. They desired also the removal of 
limitations under the various Codes on their power. 
By 1897 the defects of periodical revision of the 
contract became too glaring, and so a definite 
permanent contract was suggested as a remedy. 1 
Non-official opinion, too, advocated the same.* 
From the very beginning, Indian politicians favoured 
financially autonomous Local Governments and 
were generally guided in their view by the scheme 
proposed by Mr. John Bright. When after the 
second Afghan War, owing to the Russian menace 
the military expenditure of the Government of India 
was increasing from year to year even at the sacrifice 
of internal progress, Indian politicians realised that the 
only method of checking it and of providing money 
for education, local development, sanitation and 
other such services was by separating the provincial 
revenues from the central revenues, and making the 
Local Governments free to regulate their budget 
subject to the control of the local Legislative 
Councils. 8 This view had strengthened by the end 
of the century and we find more or less uniform 
proposals emerging from the various political 
organisations in the country at the time of the 
Indian Expenditure Commission enquiry. The 
Indian National Congress, for the first time 
passed a resolution in 1896 to the effect that "the 

1 Banner ji f p. 117; Financial Secretary's memorndutn 
1904. 

2 Proc. Indian National Congress 1896. 

8 Proceedings Indian National Congress 1886. p. 99, 
and 1902. pp. 50-51 etc. 

F. 31 



242 ORIGINS Of PROVINCIAL AtffONOMY 

allotncieftts made to thfe Provincial Governments 

are inadequate, and that in view of the revision of 
the Quinquennial Provincial Contract, which is to 
take place in 1897, the time has arrived when 
a further step should be taken in the matter of 
financial decentralisation, by leaving the responsibility 
of the financial administration of the different 
provinces principally to the Local Governments, 
the Supreme Government receiving from each Local 
Government only a fixed contribution levied in 
accordance with some definite and equitable principle, 
which should not be liable to any disturbance during 
the currency of the period of contract, so as to secure 
to Local Governments that fiscal certainty and that 
advantage arising from the normal expansion of the 
revenues which are so essential to all real progress in 
the development of the resources and the satisfactory 
administration of the different provinces." 1 

Mr. Gokhale elaborated it further and presented 
a scheme to the Indian Expenditure Commission, 
which was based on the recommendations of some 
members of Lord Dufferin's Finance Committee of 
1886. He pointed out that the people were "more 
interested in provincial than in Imperial 
expenditure;" The former being "intimately 
connected with the well-being of the people/ 1 He 
opposed the revision of the contract as it gave "more 
to the Government of India to spend on items like 
the army etc." He found three defects in the 



1 Resolution No. IV of the Indian National Congress 
1896. 



ftts SETBACK 1888-1906 243 

existing system of contract, viz. that it was one-aided, 
that it was not based on any fixed principle in regard 
to the burden it imposed on the different provinces 
and lastly that while operating as a check on the 
growth of provincial expenditure, it imposed no 
similar restraint upon the Government of India. 
His scheme contemplated a definite and exclusive 
division of revenue and expenditure between Imperial 
and provincial, so that the "divided heads" should be 
wholly removed. As the revenues from Imperial 
heads would not be sufficient for the needs of the 
Supreme Government, the excess of expenditure 
should be the first charge on the provincial revenues, 
being met out of the provincial surplus. The future 
growth of revenues he proposed to divide equally 
between the two. He claimed that this scheme 
would remove irritation, secure administrative progress, 
and equitable distribution and impose a check on the 
"spending propensities of the Government of India." 
Also that the Indian financial system would be placed 
on a sound basis and would come "in line with the 
federal systems of finance in other countries, ,e. g. 
Germany, Canada and the United States of 
America." 1 Another, witness, Mr. D. E. Wacha 
suggested the same method as that of the Indian 
National Congress namely that .all the revenues 
collected should be provincial out of which a fixed 
proportion should be given by each province to the 
Supreme Government. He held that virtually each 

1 Mr. Golchale's evidence. Expenditure Commission. 
Q 1S03648136. 



244 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUf ONOItY 

province "was, as it were, a small kingdom by itself" 
and should be allowed to "work out its own financial 
salvation." The advantage claimed was that it 
would restrict the expenditure of the Supreme 
Government "on objects of doubtful utility." 1 
Further, it was felt that the purpose of the 
decentralisation scheme was to establish a federation 
in India, and so the local budget should be left 
entirely to the local Legislative Council.* 
Non-official opinion favoured the system of 
separation of resources and fixed contributions by 
the Provincial Governments to the Government of 
India as the only method which could strengthen 
the former and provide scope for the development 
of the country. 8 The rigid financial control by the 
Government of India was considered to be injurious, 
as under the existing system "the people (of the 
province)... cannot... expect that the share of the fruits 

of their labour might in the first instance be 

applied to their well-being." 4 The way out of it, 
according to them, was to free the Local 
Governments to spend their separated revenues 
under the control of the Legislative Councils 
which should be enlarged and be composed of the 

1 Mr. D. E. Wacha's evidence. Expenditure Commission 
Q 17260. 

1 Mr. S. N. Bannerji's evidence, Expenditure 
Commission, Q 19233-4. 

8 See speeches of Messrs Bhuskute, and Sayani in 1896 
and Mr. Sri Ram from 1899 to 1902 in the Budget debates. 
Also Elliot's evidence before the Expenditure Commission. 

* Mr* Ananda Charlu's speech. Budget debate 1896, 



tHE SETBACK 1888-1906 245 

representatives of the people. There is no explicit 
mention of "Provincial Autonomy" at this time, 
but the suggestions regarding the separation of 
provincial finance, its relief from control by the 
Government of India, and the legislative freedom 
of the provincial Legislative Councils, coupled with 
the demand for partial responsibility of the executive 
to representative bodies manifest a hazy vision of 
it. The general notion was that as the Provincial 
Governments carried on largely the administration 
of the country uncontrolled, they should be given 
financial and legislative freedom subject to the 
supervision of their Legislative Councils. 

On the other hand, for different reasons, the 
Government of India and the Secretary of State 
also considered a change in the system necessary. 
Owing to the financial difficulties in which the 
Central Government was then placed, the Secretary 
of State examined and reviewed the financial 
relations between the Imperial and the Provincial 
Governments in 1888, and "pointed out the 
inequality of the existing arrangements which secure 
freedom from financial difficulties to the Local 
Governments, while the Imperial Government may 
be passing through a phase of acute embarrassment." 1 
He considered the artificial protection of the Local 
Governments by means of the Provincial Contracts 
as undesirable and thought that they "should be 
expected to manage their finances....according to the 
varying requirements of the time." Therefore he 

Despatch from Secretary of Stale, 12 April 1888, 



246 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

desired that the normal arrangements made with 
them should be modified from time to time to 
meet the requirements of the Imperial treasury. 
On the receipt of the despatch, the prospects being 
very gloomy, proposals were made to the Local 
Governments which would have changed the 
Provincial Contracts into "permanent 
arrangements." 1 These were to come into effect 
from 1 April 1889. This scheme was designed to 
devolve on the Local Governments the duty of 
finding funds, by local taxation or otherwise, for 
purely local needs, such as education, sanitation and 
roads and buildings. Local revenue and 
expenditure were to be entirely separated from the 
general account. Then, it was provided to hand 
over to each Provincial Government "the 
whole civil Revenues and Expenditure of each 

Province on the condition that after the items 

which are of a .local character are eliminated, a 
certain percentage of the net revenue should be 
retained for Provincial expenditure, and the balance 
credited to the Imperial Account, to meet the 
General Expenditure of the Empire." The 
provincial resources were to consist of all the 
revenues which the Local Governments then received 
either wholly or partly. The proportion of the 
provincial expenditure to the total provincialised 
revenue was to be calculated and "the adjustment 



1 Summary of the Principal Measures of the 
Viceroyalty of Lord Dufferin in the Departmeat of Finance 
Commerce, Vol., IV. p. 45. 



THE SBTBACX 1888-1906 247 

fixed on the resulting proportion." The growth of 
the Imperial demands could be met by an alteration 
of the percentage of the yield to the Imperial 
account. These percentages were to be fixed on 
the net revenues only. Such a contract was to be 
"not for a term of five years only 11 but "a continuous 
one, subject to revision from time to time according 
to the necessities of Imperial expenditure." 1 

But no action was taken on these proposals. 
Later, when the Governments of Bombay, Madras 
and Bengal protested against the very principle of 
the Provincial Contract in 1897, the matter was 
taken up by the Supreme Government. That 
Government submitted a scheme to the Secretary 
of State, "for making the three most important 
Local Governments (Bombay, Madras and Bengal) 
responsible for providing for large increases of local 
expenditure by local taxation." 2 This scheme also 
contemplated the division of the expenditure on the 
civil administration, provided out of the general 
revenues, into two classes, the "general' 1 and the 
"local/ 1 including in the latter category such items as 
roads and communications, educational and medical 
expenditure and grants for municipal purposes ect. 
For this "local" expenditure a specified share of the 
povincial revenue was to be finally and definitely 

1 Summary of the Principal Measures of the Viceroyalty 
of Lord Dufferin in the Department of Finance and 
Commerce. Vol. IV pp. 42-7. 

* Summary of the Principal Measures of the Viceroyalty 
of Lord Elgin in the Department of Finance and Commerce, 
p. 36. 



248 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

fixed, no regard being paid to it in future contract 
revisions. 1 In other respects it fell far short of the 
proposals made in 1888. The Secretary of State 
agreed that the proposals should be placed before 
the Local Governments, but he doubted the policy 
of imposing too absolute a check on the further 
growth of expenditure classed as local. 2 Both the 
above schemes had their origin in the financial 
difficulties of the Government of India and aimed 
at restricting expenditure on subjects like education, 
sanitation etc, which were considered to be local. 
Also they envisaged the abolition of the periodical 
revision as that led both to bickerings and to 
extravagance and waste. The earlier proposal was 
perhaps influenced by the views of that group of 
administrators who desired ultimately to separate 
central and provincial resources. However, no action 
was taken on them immediately. 

Lord Curzon took the next step in the 
provincialisation of finances. There was no secret 

_ , _ about the views of the Local 

Lord Curzon^ r,.,vj 

and Governments, some of which had 

Decentralisation, constantly objected to the existing 

Quasi-permanent contractSt B Non-official opinion 
Settlement. r 

too was on their side. Consequently 

1 Despatch to Secretary of State No. 68, 3 March 1898. 

2 Despatch from Secretary of State No. 125 of 28 July 
1898. 

8 Cf. Lord Curzon's speech at the Chamber of 
Commerce, Madras, 11 Dec. 1900 where he said that the 
Governor of Madras had addressed letters to him on the 
subject. Speeches, Vol. II. pp. 160-1, 



THB SETBACK 1888-1906 249 

after discussion with the Secretary of State, Lord 
Curzon's Government decided to make the 
settlement quasi-permanent. A series of surplus 
years made the task easy. 1 The Supreme 
Government found that the method of quinquennial 
revision had three grave defects, firstly that it 
interfered with the continuity of provincial finance 
and involved protracted discussion with the Local 
Governments; secondly that the system encouraged 
extravagance rather than economy, and thirdly that 
the apportionment of revenue to the several 
provinces had never been made on any definite or 
logical principle. It was just "a system of five year 
budgets." Hence to remove these shortcomings, and 
"to introduce an element of relative permanence 
into the settlements," it was decided to give to the 
"Provincial Governments a permanent instead of a 
merely temporary interest in the revenue and 
expenditure under their control." The proportion 
of provincial expenditure to the total expenditure 
was calculated and on that basis the revenues were 
adjusted between the Imperial and the Provincial 
Governments. The proportion generally was three 
to one, but a larger share was assigned to the 
backward provinces. 2 The division of the heads 
of revenue and expenditure into three categories 
as established in 1882 was continued. The only 
improvements were that ample resources were 
given to the Local Governments which should 

i Surplus budgets from 1897 to 1904. 
* Financial Statement 1904-1905. Memorandum 
by the Finance Secretary. 
P. 32 



250 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

be adequate for their needs, and that the settlement 
was not subject to revision at any fixed period. No 
doubt, the Government of India reserved the power 
"to revise the settlement of any or all provinces at 
any time whenever necessity may demand it." The 
intention of that government, however, was "only 
to exercise this power when the variations from the 
initial relative standards of revenue and expenditure 
in any province have, over a substantial term of 
years, been so great as to result in unfairness either 
to the province itself, to other provinces, or to the 
Government of India or in the event of the 
Government of India being confronted with the 
alternatives of either imposing additional taxation 
or of seeking assistance from the provinces." 1 As 
such it was comparatively permanent. Between the 
years 1904 and 1907 such settlements were made 
with all the Provincial Governments.* 

The principle on which these adjustments were 
made did not differ substantially from those of the 
earlier contracts. The financial system of India 
was still regarded as one whole and assignments 
were made to the Provincial Governments for 
allocated expenditure. The restrictions on their 
financial discretion were still maintained. There 
was no near approach to the scheme suggested in 

1 Financial Statement 1904-1905. 

* In 1904-5 settlements were made with the provinces of 
Bengal, Madras, Assam and the United Provinces; in 1905-6 
with Bombay andUhe Punjab, from 1 April 1906 with the 
Central Provinces, and from 1 April 1907 with Burma, 
Ambedkar, pp. 123-128; Thomas, Federal Finance, pp. 262-4, 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 251 

1888 or to the proposals of the non-officials or certain 
Local Governments. The two were fundamentally 
different, for while one considered the provincial 
revenues as assignments from the Imperial fisc, the 
other contemplated the contribution of revenues from 
the provincial resources to the Imperial fisc. Even 
so, the progress was remarkable and the measure 
was received with satisfaction. But it is doubtful 
whether it led to further decentralisation, despite 
Lord Curzon's affirmation that "these new 
settlements constitute, in my view, the most 
important step in the nature of decentralisation that 
has been adopted for many years, and will, I hope, 
be the forerunner of others in the future." 1 
Nevertheless they laid the foundations of a steadily 
developing financial autonomy which enabled the 
Local Governments later to undertake enterprises 
from which they were formerly debarred. 1 

In other respects the Viceroy alty of Lord Curzon 

saw the tightening of the central control. He 

aimed at efficiency of administration, 

Tightening of so t h at t h e machine of government in 
administrative . . . T u ^ 

control under e various provinces should run at 

Lord Curzon. a becoming rate." On his arrival 

he found that "the engines have not 

been going at much more than half -speed," and 

gradual deterioration had set in. 8 So he outlined 

1 Curzon's Budget speech 1904. Proceedings Legislative 
Council 1904, p. 238. 
Ibid, 
a Curzon's Budget Speech 1902. Speeches, Vol. II p. 200, 



254 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

General took care that the funds so assigned were 
not diverted to other purposes. 1 An agency for the 
coordination of work in the various provinces was 
created by the appointment of many Inspectors 
General for different departments.* The orders 
relating to famine relief and the land revenue policy 
particularly respecting remission of revenue in times 
of scarcity were pressed on the Local Governments. 8 
Lord Curzon desired to have all the strings of 
administration in his hands and insisted on 
information on every important matter being 
forwarded to the Supreme Government. 4 He found 
that the Governments of Madras and Bombay 
ignored the Central Government and acted like "the 
petty kings of those dominions....even unconscious 
that responsibility attaches to anyone but 
themselves." 5 Lord Sandhurst, the Governor of 

1 Grants were made to the Local Governments of 40 
lakhs for education, 32 lakhs for public works, and 18 lakhs 
for medical arrangements etc. in 1902-3 (Financial 
Statement 1902-3). Also 50 lakhs for police reforms in 
accordance with the recommendations of the Police 
Commission, an additional 35 lakhs for primary education 
and 20 lakhs for agricultural research etc., in 1905-6 
(Financial Statement 1905-1906,). Remarks by Mr. Baker. 
Gazette of India, March 25, 1905, Pt, VI. pp. 45-6 

2 The following were appointed after 1901: Sanitary 
Commissioner, Director General of Education, Inspectors 
General of Agriculture, Irrigation and Excise and Salt. 
R. C. D. Vol. I p. 136. 

8 Resolution (Revenue & Agriculture) 25 March 1905 
Gazette of India supplement 1 April 1905 pp. 735-42. 

4 Buchan; Lord Minto, p. 215. 

6 Letter from the Viceroy to the Secretary of State 
dated 17 May 1899, Ronaldshay II p. 56 



THE SETBACK 1888-1906 255 

Bombay, failed to inform the Governor General of 
a strike of signallers on the Great Indian Peninsular 
Railway in 1899, about which the latter learnt from 
the press; 1 and did not take the Government of 
India into confidence in the matter of the detention 
of Natu brothers without trial. 2 The Governor of 
Madras did not communicate with the Viceroy for 
many months after his arrival in India and while 
sending information about the Queen's statue being 
tarred in June 1899 made no mention of the "serious 
succession of outbreaks" in the Tinnevally district. 8 
The Governor General was naturally furious. Such 
omissions were a violation of earlier orders, and as 
such there is some truth in his remark that "I know 
far less of what is going on in Madras than I do of 
what is passing in Egypt or France, and as for the 
supposed responsibility of the Viceroy, it has long 
ago vanished in thin air." 4 

It must be admitted that the Presidency 
Governments had consistently used their right of 
direct correspondence with the Secretary of State 
to flout the authority of the Central Government. 
Lord Curzon f s Government also protested against 
this anomaly and in a despatch to the Secretary 
of State recommended, as had been done before, 
without success, drastic measures for dealing with 

1 Ronaldshay II p. 56. 

* Ibid. p. 57. 

* Curzon's letter to the Secretary of State, 14 June 
1899. Ronaldshay II pp. 57-8 

* Ronaldshay II p. 57. 



256 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

it. Like Lord Lytton, he desired that the two 
Presidency Governments should be placed "on 
precisely the same footing as the other major 
provinces,' 1 and wanted the abolition of their 
Executive Councils, and their right of direct 
correspondence. 1 But the British Cabinet would 
not be persuaded. The Viceroy had no patience 
with the arguments and opposition of the provincial 
chiefs. He wrote to the Secretary of State, "I 
cannot work a government under this system. I 
cannot spend hours in wordy argument with my 
Lieutenant Governors as to the exact meaning, 
purport, scope, object, character, possible limitations, 
conceivable results of each petty aspect of my 
frontier policy. If they deliberately refuse to 
understand it and haggle and boggle about carrying 
it out, I must get some fairly intelligent officer who 
will understand what I mean and do what I 
say." 2 In other words, he wanted "the ^Provincial 
Governments to act merely' as executive agents 
of the Supreme Government. No wonder then 
that the Finance Member clearly though bluntly 
reminded the Local Governments of their position 



1 Despatch to Secretary of State, 28 Sept. 1899 
(Ronaldshay Vol. II p. 57). The Executive Councils 
were characterised "as unjustifiable extravagance; the 
trappings of their rulers as unnecessary luxury; the 
right which they enjoyed of corresponding direct with 
the Secretary of State behind the back of the Viceroy as 
anomalous and mischievous pretension/' 

2 Letter to Secretary of Stsite 16 Nov, 1899 
(Ronaldshay II, p. 132). 



THE SETBACK 1888*1906 257 

as mere agents. 1 They should have no hand in 
Framing the policy but must carry it into effect, as 
is illustrated in the case of the separation of the 
North West Frontier Province from the Punjab 
despite the vehement opposition of Sir Macworth 
Young, the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab. 1 

Lord Curzon's Government held that the 

Government of India represented both authority as 

well as responsibility-"responsibility 

Lord Curzon der for . the P r P er use of its authorit y 
which follows from the very 

possession of that authority a responsibility which 
it would be abrogating its highest duty if it did not 
discharge it to the full. It is true that it delegates 
authority to the Local Governments, but it delegates 
that authority subject to its own control, and It is 
essential to the due discharge of its responsibility that 
it should exercise that control wherever it considers 
that a case is made out for its exercise." 3 On this 
assumption, under him the interference of the 
Government of India was considerable, leading to 
outcry against centralisation. It is true that 
according to the definition of Lord Curzon, there 
could be no centralisation as there was "no 
absorption by a central body of powers or privileges 
hitherto enjoyed, or capable, if created, of being 

1 Sir Edward Law's speech in the Budget debate of 
1902. Proceedings of the Legislative Council 1902. 
p 196. 

2 Ronaldshay II, pp. 136-140. 

8 Sir Denizel Ibbetson in University BUI debate, 
Ploc. Legislative Council 1904, p. 150. 

P. 33 



258 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

exercised by subordinate bodies," for the legal and 
constitutional powers of the Supreme Government 
remained unabated and gave it complete supremacy. 1 
Lord Curzon believed in no "lax or sluggish control, 
or in the abdication of powers which have been 
provided for special objects."* The result was the 
enforcement of the legal authority leading necessarily 
to the curtailment of customary discretion. 
Decentralisation consistent with efficiency he was 
willing to concede. But he was not prepared to 
leave the provincial authorities uncontrolled. The 
needs of administrative improvement and the altered 
political situation assisted him in that object. He 
was a believer in benevolent despotism and in his 
Indian philosophy there could be no room for popular 
institutions. When every effort was being made to 
concentrate all the aspects of administration under 
official control, it was quite natural that the Central 
Government should maintain an effective supervision 
over the local authorities in the discharge of its 
responsibility to the Secretary of State and the 
Parliament. Under Lord Curzon's regime the 
theory of financial decentralisation coupled with 
administrative and legal supremacy of the Government 
of India had full play. Effective centralisation 
reached its climax and exhibited clearly the futility of 
the hope of securing decentralisation, local or 
provincial, under the existing constitutional system. 

1 Curzon's Budget speech 1904. Proc. Legislative 
Council 1904. p, 546. 

* Curzon's speech in Budget debate 1904. p. 546, 



CHAPTER VL 

DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION 
AND AFTER 

The Viceroyalty of Lord Curzon saw the height 

of reaction which had its beginning in the financial 

difficulties of the previous years. 

Review of the The control by the Supreme 

position at the Government tightened again so 
end of Lrord . . 

C u r z o n* s t " at ^ became coextensive with 

Viceroyalty. the whole sphere of the operations 

of the Provincial Governments." 1 
No doubt the chief motive of the Government of 
India in this was to lay down general principles, 
leaving to the Local Governments their adaptation 
to local circumstances. But it was difficult always 
to respect this division, for often, owing to special 
circumstances, mere details involved matters of 
principle important enough to call for the 
interposition of the Government of India and the 
Secretary of State. Further, as has been discussed 
before, greater vigilance of public opinion, and 
considerations of administrative efficiency led to an 
increased supervision and control by the Government 
of India. All those circumstances which according 
to the Royal Commission on Decentralisation, tend 
to centralisation, had full play at the time. 2 The 

1 Bombay Government Note. R. C. D. VIII. Appendix II, 
* R, C. D. para. 47. 

269 



260 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

facility 'of rapid communication, the "growth of 
solidarity and of national feeling among the educated 
classes in the various provinces," the greater interest 
taken by the Parliament in Indian affairs and the 
demand for a higher standard of administration as a 
consequence of closer contact with the rest of the 
world, all these factors operated towards that end 
at the beginning of this century. 

Moreover, Lord Curzon had made a fetish of 
efficiency for which he was ready to sacrifice 
everything. Instructions were issued to the 
Provincial Governments for reorganisation in almost 
every department of administration, and closely and 
incessantly did the Supreme Government watch 
their enforcement. Subordinate* authorities became 
mere parts of a well organised machine. The 
Provincial Governments became mere agents of 
the Government of India. There was little room 
for non-official collaboration, and public criticism 
had no prospect of being heeded. The result was 
the establishment of an efficient but rigid system 
of administration accompanied by dissatisfaction in 
the Provincial Governments and political agitation 
in the country. 

The Government of India had the immediate 
direction of certain subjects like foreign affairs, 
defence, general taxation, debt, tariffs, posts and 
telegraphs, railways and accounts and auditing, while 
ordinary internal administration was carried on by 
the Provincial Governments. But even in the latter 
the Government of India exercised a general and 
constant control, which was not confined to 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 261 

prescribing general principles bat extended to 
testing "their application from administration reports 
and returns." 1 The financial Codes and the Civil 
Service Regulations, "the general resolutions on 
questions of policy issued for the guidance" of the 
Local Governments, particular instructions on 
matters attracting the notice of the Government of 
India, the right of hearing appeals against the orders 
of the Provincial Governments and the occasional 
reports of the Inspectors-General or committees of 
enquiry were the means by which the Government 
of India controlled provincial administration. 2 Also, 
the budget restrictions and the natural desire of the 
Government of India to control the employment of 
the "doles" contributed by it to Local Governments 
made its "control effective over many departments, 
primarily the concern of the Local Governments. 118 
The budgetary rules, and the regulations relating to 
the creation of offices, grant of salaries, allowances 
and pensions, as embodied in the Civil Account Code 
or the Civil Service Regulations, limited the financial 
independence of the Provincial Governments and 
brought important matters even of detail under the 
review of the Supreme Government. 

The policy relating to the various administrative 
departments was laid down by the Governor General 
in Council. The desire to secure uniformity 

i R. C. D. paras. 424. 
3 R. C. D. paras 50-51. 

8 R. C D. Vol. VIII. Appendix II. Bombay Government 
Mote. 



262 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

often - led the Government of India to regulate 
matters of detail even in departments like education 
or medical. In the public works department, the 
Government of India was primarily responsible for 
accounting and auditing and the allocation of funds 
for irrigation and other projects out of the Imperial 
revenues or borrowed money. It also required the 
Provincial Governments to submit estimates and 
plans of certain classes of work. The Supreme 
Government, besides, prescribed the general 
organisation of the provincial public works 
departments and appointed in most provinces the 
superior staff as well. 1 So also in the forest 
department, except in Madras and Bombay, the 
chief officers were appointed by the Supreme 
Government. Moreover, that government exercised 
control over forest administration by means of 
general resolutions on forest policy, the Forest 
Code and financial rules restricting authority of the 
Local Governments. 3 The same course may be 
traced in other departments under the management 
of the Provincial Governments. 

An important development tending to 
centralisation had been the establishment of 
Inspector-Generalships with the Government of 
India to supervise some of the departments. There 
were fourteen such officers in 1908, of which nine 
were appointed in Curzon's time or later. 8 Their 



1 R. C. D. paras. 198-9. 
8 Ibid, Chapter VI, para. 288 etc., 
* R. C. D. Vol. I. p 136; Vol. VIII. Appendix II, 
Bombay Government Note. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 263 

function was to help the Government of India with 
specialised knowledge, to give advice and information 
to the Local Governments when necessary and 
"to bring the experience of one province to bear 
upon the problems of another so as to secure such 
coordination as may be possible, of the system of 
the different provinces." It was expected that they 
would not interfere in local administration and 
would not correspond officially with the local 
officers. 1 But in a few cases an attempt was made 
to break through this reservation. 8 The Provincial 
Governments feared that, unless properly limited, 
they would encroach upon them and weaken their 
control over their officers. 8 The Government of 
India, on the other hand, considered them to be 
necessary owing to the greater "specialisation of 
administrative business" and to the necessity of 
possessing knowledge of provincial administration in 
various departments which did not otherwise reach 
it directly from the Local Governments owing, as 



1 R. C. D. Vol. VIII, Appendix II. Bombay Government 
Note; R. C. D. Vol. I para 389, also paras 185, 205, 319, 
328, 352, 354, 370 and 382 for the functions of the various 
Imperial officers. Also Resolution 8 September 1904 and 
Circular Letter No. 17-60-6 dated 24th October 1901. 

* For Example, G. O. Nos. 1893-1894 Judicial, 
17 November 1906; Madras Government Memorandum R. 
C. D. Vol. II Appendix, para 22; for some concrete instances 
see the Note by the Lieutenant Governor of United 
Provinces. R. C. D. Vol. VIII. App. II para 10. 

R. C. D. Vol. I para 393; Vol. II Appendix, Vol. VIII 
Appendix II; Bradley's evidence. Q. 1036, and Mr. Forbes 
Q. 8679. R. C, D. Vol. II f 



264 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

it alleged, to increasing decentralisation. 1 The 
Inspectors-General were, nevertheless, gradually 
developing into agents of centralisation* 

One result of this enlargement of the scope of 

supervision by the Central Government was an 

increase in the amount of work in 

Causes of the the Secretariat of the Government 

need for further . . 

decentralisation. of India ' Jt was heaviest m 

the Home Department, whose 

correspondence had doubled between 1891 and 1902,* 
One reason assigned for this increase of work was 
the need for watchful supervision of provincial 
administration so as to prevent the "disregard of 
standing orders or accepted principles." 8 On this 
ground Lord Curzon's Government was constrained 
to ask the Secretary of State for additional staff 
in the Home Department in 1903. The Secretary 
of State agreed that the immediate result of the 
"active enquiry" into every branch of administration 
pursued by the Government of India should lead 

1 Risely. Q. 45394. R. C. D. Vol. X. 

* In 1891 the number of letters issued from and 
received into the Home Department was 25,456 and in 
1902 it was 49,266. (Government of India's Despatch 
No. 64 (Finance), 12 March 1903) R. C. D. Vol. X. 
Appendix XIV. Also between 1898 and 1906 there bad 
been an increase from 39,965 to 45,094. Government 
of India's Despatch 9 May 1907, Appendix. 

8 Despatch to Secretary of State No. 64 (Finance) 
12 March 1903. In 1891 Lord Cross had emphasised the 
importance of checking the growth of work by delegating 
authority to subordinate boards and officers. Despatch 
No. 215, 15 November 1891 and No. 128, 2 July 1891, 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 265 

to incfease in work in the Home Department, but 
hoped that it would decrease "as the Local 
Governments gradually become habituated to the 
changes which have been made." He deprecated 
interference with the " initiative and responsibility" 
of the Provincial Governments and desired a detailed 
examination of the correspondence with a view 
to prevent departure from the principle of 
decentralisation. 1 This increase of staff was 
sanctioned for a period of three years. 

Seeing no prospect of the diminution of work, 
Lord Minto asked for the permanent retention of 
the additional staff in the Home Department. On 
an analysis of the work in the different branches he 
found that the work had increased in eight of them, 
was stationary in three and decreasing in the other 
three. This, he pointed out, resulted from the 
improvement of communications, the development 
of the country, the use of specialised technical agency 
in different departments, and the reluctance of the 
Indian legislature "to confer powers on Local 
Governments except subject to the previous sanction 
of the Government of India." He denied any 
attempt on the part of the Central Government to 
"usurp powers which would be legitimately exercised 
by lower authority." He said there was "no desire 
to interfere with their responsibility or with their 
power of initiative," but as a rule suggestions of 
reform emanated from the Government of India 

1 Secretary of State's despatch No. 55 (Public) 15 May 
1903. 
F. 34 



266 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

which should therefore possess "the custody of 
principles and the enforcement of such uniformity 
as may be found requisite." He deprecated the use 
of the term "centralisation" for this policy which 
he described as "partly the successful adaptation 
of administrative means to an end, partly 
as the exercise of legitimate and necessary control." 
Nevertheless he admitted that the references 
from the Provincial Governments "under 
financial rules for creation of posts or increase of 
salary beyond a limit" were inconsistent with the wide 
powers exercised by the Local Governments "under 
the existing system of provincial settlements/' and 
suggested that "the limits should be placed at higher 
figures than the existing standards, which date back 
to the experimental stage." 1 

It was now coming to be realised that every 
official, whether in the districts or at headquarters, 
was overburdened with correspondence and had too 
little time for coming into contact with the people 
and initiating measures for local improvement. 
This may have resulted in a growing alienation 
between the rulers and the ruled. Such a possibility 
is always injurious to the interests of foreign 
governments, but at the time, it was more so in 
India because of the demand for increased 
participation of the people in the administration of 
the country. The political movement had taken a 
new turn which brought extremist opinions to the 



1 Despatch to Secretary of State No. 19 of 9th May 
1907. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 267 

front for the time being. Reaction against some 
administrative measures of Lord Curzon found 
expression in a serious agitation for reform, and 
even moderate opinion was compelled to veer round 
and adopt self-government as its goal. 1 The 
enlargment of the Legislative Councils and their 
powers so as to secure the responsibility, 
even though partial, of the executive to the 
representatives of the people was immediately 
demanded. "The problem with which the 
Government of India was confronted in 1906 
was. ..serious. It was the assertion of a political 
awakening," and it would have been dangerous to 
ignore it. Discerning this change, Lord Minto 
"decided that the time had come for a further 
extension of representative principles in our 
administration," and set to working out a scheme 
for the satisfaction of the aspirations of the people.* 
Thus two threads were spinning simultaneously, 
one the necessity of relieving the Central Government 
of a mass of detailed work and second the importance 
of assigning a larger share to the people in the 
administration of the country. Both were 
interconnected, for in the existing situation, 
constitutional advance was not practicable without 

* The Resolution, of the Indian National Congress on 
Self-Government in 1905. 

* Lord Minto's farewell dinner speech at the United 
Service Club, 1910. (Speeches by Minto. pp. 412-13). 

Also see Buchan's Lord Minto, and Lady Minto's, Minto 
and Morley, for an account of the inception of the reform 
scheme. The first hint occurred in a letter of Mr. Morley 
dated 15th June 1906. (Buchan p. 233.) 



268 ORIGINS OP PfcOVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

an extension of the process of decentralisation in 
administration. If the "provincial Legislative 
Councils were to be entrusted with powers of 
controlling the budget and of influencing 
administration, it was essential that the superior 
control over the Provincial Governments should be 
correspondingly relaxed. The same was true of 
local self-government. Also it was recognised that 
devolution of powers to the Local Governments and 
local authorities could not be effected without 
substituting popular control for the control of the 
Government of India and the Secretary of State. 
This consideration had heretofore prevented any 
substantial enhancement of the authority of the 
Local Governments, for the Government of India 
regarded with apprehension the grant of political 
power to the representatives of the people. But 
during the Viceroyalty of Lord Minto, a moderate 
and regulated advance was made in that direction 
which smoothed the process of decentralisation as 
well. The Secretary of State and the Government 
of India tackled the dual problem then by appointing 
the first commission of enquiry on the question of 
decentralisation and enacting what is known as the 
Minto-Morley Reform scheme. 

In the course of the budget debate in March 
1907, Sir Steyning Edgerley (representing the Bombay 
Government) drawing attention to 
The appointment the evils of centralisation pressed 
of t h e R o y a 1 u f of dedded action in the d i rection 
Commission on 
Decentralisation, of decentralisation/ 1 and suggested 

that "a strong committee be 



&BCBNTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 269 

appointed to work out a scheme of devolution of 
financial and other departmental control." 1 His 
remarks found little echo in the speeches of 
the other members, but the Home Member, 
Sir Harvey Adamson, and the Finance Member, 
Mr. Baker, welcomed the suggestion and informed 
the house that the subject was already under 
the consideration of the Government of India. 8 
Mr. Baker went further and said that the Secretary 
of State had been addressed "in the hope of obtaining 
an extension of our own financial powers, and if our 
proposals are sanctioned, it is our intention to pass 
on a corresponding increase of power to the Local 
Governments/' 8 While the Government of India 

1 Proceedings of the Legislative Council of India, 27 March 
1907, pp. 93 5.; Principal Measures of the Viceroyalty ot 
Lord Minto in the Finance Department, p. 141. 

* Proceedings of the Legislative Council of India 1907. 
p. 181, and pp. 197-8. 

8 In 1906 (Despatch No. 53 (Finance) 18th May) the 
Secretary of State expressed his readiness to consider any 
proposals to increase the financial powers of the 
Government of India in the matter of establishments. 
The Government of India asked for the following 
(Despatch No. 17 (Financial) 24 January 1907) : 

(a) the increase of the limit on the total expenditure on 
single schemes for revision of establishment from 
Rs. 25,000 to 50,000 

(b) the increase of the limit on the salaries which may 
be attached to new appointments created without reference 
to the Secretary of State from Rs. 3,000 to Rs 5,000 
a year. 

(c) the increase of the limit on salaries which the 
Government of India may enhance without reference to 
the Secretary of State from Rs 5,000 to Rs. 9,000 a yean 



276 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

was, however, considering the suggestion "the Home 
Government determined to appoint a Royal 
Commission to report on the advisability of a larger 
degree of decentralisation in the civil administration 
of British India." 1 We do not know the 
considerations which prompted Lord Morley to 
take this step ; for the correspondence on the subject 
has not yet seen the light of day. 2 

The terms of reference of the Royal Commission 

on Decentralisation were "to consider the relations 

now existing, for financial and 

Term s of administrative purposes, between 
reference. r r 

the Government of India and the 

Provincial Governments, and between the Provincial 
Governments and the authorities subordinate to 
them ; and to report whether, by measures of 

(d) the extension of the period upto which the 
Government of India may sanction temporary appointments 
and deputations without reference to the Secretary of 
State from 12 months to 24 months. 

The proposals were sanctioned (Despatch No. 170 
(Finance) 2 August 1907) with the modification that the 
enhanced powers under (b) and (c) were not to be 
exercised in the case of the 'gazetted officers recruited in 
England. (Principal Measures of the Viceroyalty of Lord 
Minto in the Finance Department, p. 141). 

1 Principal Measures of Lord Minto. Finance, p. 142. 

* Bucban writes that the "Commission had been the 
result of a suggestion of Minto's made early in 1907 as 
an alternative to Mr. Motley's dangerous proposal of a 
Parliamentary enquiry into Indian affairs. It soon became 
a pet scheme of the Secretary of State." Buchan. p. 265. 
Morley hinted about such a Parliamentary committee in 
his letter to Minto of 30 November 1906. Rcollections. 
Vpl, II. P- 194. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 27l 

decentralisation or otherwise, these relations can 
be simplified and improved, and the system 
of government can be better adapted to meet the 
requirements and promote the welfare of the different 
provinces, and (without impairing its strength and 
unity) to bring the executive power into closer 
touch with local conditions." 1 The Commission 
collected a mass of evidence, official and non-official, 
and submitted its report in February 1909. 
Meanwhile the Secretary of State made a statement 
on 17th December 1908 relating to the policy of 
the British Government in regard to the 
constitutional reform in India. It is difficult to 
say how far that policy was affected by the 
recommendations of the Commission, which had, 
however been furnished to the Secretary of State 
beforehand. 2 

The entire evidence may be classified into three 
categories ; that tendered by the Provincial 

Governments, by the Government 

Analysis of its f India and by the non-official 

evidence. Indians. Each Provincial 

Government submitted a note on 
the general position and deputed its officers to 
supplement the information given therein. The 
tale which they related is one long narrative of 
control exercised by the Central Government. Their 
complaints related to financial restrictions, to the 
statutory and legal provisions requiring the 



1 Report R. C. D. para, I. 
* Report R. C. D. para 6. 



272 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

sanction of the Government of India to specific 
measures, and to its administrative control. 1 
Every one of them had something to say 
against the regulations contained in the Codes 
like the Civil Account Code, Civil Service 
Regulations, Famine Code and the Public Works 
Department Code. 2 The Bombay Government, 
however, most vehemently condemned all control 
which fettered the discretion of the Local 
Government in any manner. The Governor in 
Council thought "that exercise of control 
in all details tends to paralyse the Local 
Governments, and deprives them of all sense of 
responsibility." He indicated that the Central 
Government , was "not competent to deal with 
multifarious conditions of different provinces," 
and in its attempt to "ignore discordant elements 
and to prescribe uniform systems to which everything 
must be forced to conform", it was simply adopting 
the "Procrustean method" which "must ultimately 
fail, because the local conditions will not permit 
of being cut to standard shape." He attributed 
"popular discontent" to this centralising tendency 
of the Government of India. 8 It was said that 



1 For example, Bombay Government note. R. C. D. 
Vol. VII Appendix II; Mr. Lamb's evidence Q 32067, 
Note by Lt. Governor of Burma. R. C. D. Vol III. 
Appendix H. 

2 For example, Mr. Gait's (Chief Secretary to the 
Bengal Government) statement. R. C. D. Vol. IV; Note 
by the Lt. Governor, U. P. f R., C. D. Vol. VII. para 4, 

R. C. D. Vol. VIII. Appendix II. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION ANP AFTER 273 

owing to the necessity of obtaining the sanction of 
the Government of India, important measures of 
administrative reform were delayed, involving 
serious injury to the public service and dissatisfaction 
among the people. 1 The Local Governments 
criticised the institution of the Imperial Officers, also, 
and objected to certain recent orders which implied 
interference by them with the provincial 
administration. 8 In short, the Provincial 

Governments held that the Government of India 
exercised a close control over every aspect of 
their administration, that this control was inconsistent 
with the financial arrangements made with them, 
and that in spite of measures of decentralisation, it 
was still sufficient to cripple their initiative and 
freedom. 

The Government of India, on the other hand, 
stated that it generally followed the practice of 
leaving matters to the Local Government after 
laying down general policy. But that this principle 
was subject to some necessary limitations, as in 
cases where the Government of India provided 
money it exercised control over details so that it 
might be able to examine the necessity of the 

1 Bombay Government Note, R. C. D. Vol. VIII, 
Appendix XII (p. 230). Mr. Lamb's Evidence Q. 32067. 
Vol. VIII. 

* R. C. D. Vol. HI. Appendix II; Vol. II Appendix; 
Vol. VII Appendix II. U. P. Government objected to the 
orders of the Government of India of 21 September 1907 
relating to the correspondence, between the Sanitary 
Commissioner of the Government of India and the 
provincial departments. Bradley Q 1036-1053. Vol. II 

F.36 



274 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

required expenditure; or when for administrative 
reasons uniformity was desirable throughout the 
country as in the enforcement of uniform conditions 
of service. Also it thought it essential to scrutinise 
details where commercial interests were affected or 
international obligations were involved. So also in 
the case of shipping, penal law and jail 
manufactures. 1 It was also stated that the 
Government of India generally dealt with matters 
of policy, but it was difficult to draw a line between 
questions of policy and matters of detail as had been 
drawn in the federal constitutions, for the Provincial 
Governments were not sovereign states but had 
been assigned only some functions by a surrender 
from the Supreme Government which retained the 
residuary authority in its own hands. 2 The Financial 
Secretary submitted also that, in financial matters, 
"there must be control from above or below," and 
as "we have no control at present from below in 
the sense of an electorate hence control from above 
must be retained. 118 The Government of India 
disclaimed any disposition to interfere with the 
legitimate activities of the Provincial Governments, 
and justified its supervision and control under the 
existing constitutional position. 

The non-official evidence is of little value on 
the point of facts, for they had no knowledge about 

1 Risley. Vol. X. Q. 45390. 

* Risley. Vol. X. Q. 45460-69, 

* Meston. Vol. X Q. 45250. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 275 

the actual working of the government. But they 
had an apprehension that the financial restrictions 
upon the authority of the Local Governments 
deprived the latter of facilities to improve the 
country in their charge. 1 

In their proposals for reform, too, the same 

diversity is visible. All were agreed that some 

measure of decentralisation was 

Proposals put not onl desirable but necessary. 

forward before J 

the Commission The Government of India, however, 

for future considered that the grant of the 
irection. same financial powers as it 

possessed itself, to the Local Governments would 
meet the situation satisfactorily. It did not deem 
essential a radical revision of the financial codes 
so as to confer on them wider powers in 
respect of pensions, allowances or budgetary 
modifications. It was not prepared to forego 
its right of superintendence and control for as long 
as the Indian governments were responsible to the 
Parliament the Supreme Government must not 
only lay down general principles but also supervise 
their application to particular cases. Subject to 
this limitation the Government of India desired 
to enhance the authority of the Provincial 
Governments so as to avoid its interference in 
matters of detail. It could not, as well, accept any 
scheme for a complete separation of finances, 
and deprecated the grant of the power of taxation 



1 Rai Sri Ram Bahadur Q. 29515. R. C. D. Vol. VIV 
> N. Basu Q. 18075. Vol. IV. etc. 



276 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

to the Local Governments without its previous 
sanction. 1 

The suggestions of the Provincial Governments, 
though not uniform, embraced a wider concession 
of authority to themselves in almost every sphere of 
administration. Mostly, they related to specific 
restrictions imposed by the Civil Account Code, 
Civil Service Regulations, or diverse legal provisions. 
Every Local Government pointed to the spot where 
the shoe pinched and wanted relief through the 
abrogation of particular orders or regulations. For 
instance, the Lieutenant Governor of Burma 
proposed enlarged powers to the Local Governments 
for dealing with questions of "detail in matters 



l . R. C. D. Vol. X. Specially evidence of Risley and 
Meston. 

Mr. Risley stated that the theory was that the 
Government of India dealt with matters of policy but 
often a particular detail might involve a principle, requiring 
its intervention. He said that it was not easy to apply the 
theory in practice. Q. 45464-69. 

Mr. Meston stated that separation of resources would 
not be advantageous "unless accompanied by a revolutionary 
change in the fiscal system." But it was not possible in the 
existing circumstances. He did not favour the grant of the 
powers of taxing to the Local Governments owing to the 
absence of any popular control. "Until a popular element 
has been introduced into the Indian constitution, and has 
been invested with effective control over at least some part 
of the fiscal system, there are grave objections to increasing 
in any way the existing facilities for improving provincial 
taxation." He did not object to the principle of separation 
of finance but said that the Government of India found it 
impossible to devise any scheme unattended by evils. 
Q. 44866. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 277 

connected with forest reservation, the levy of duty 
on forest produce etc.," or for making mining 
rules, or sanctioning the inception of settlements 
and the necessary establishments therefor, or for 
sanctioning such petty items as the issue of warm 
clothing and water-proof capes, and free rations etc. 
to the men of the military police, or for filling 
certain classes of appointments which had been 
taken out of his control by the executive orders of 
the Government of India. 1 Proposals were also 
made for delegating powers to the Local Government 
(except Madras and Bombay) in respect of 
appointments in the public works department, its 
reorganisation, with powers of sanction for both 
works and contracts. 2 

The Madras Government desired authority to 
sanction pensions in some cases in which restrictions 
were imposed by the Civil Service Regulations. 8 
That Government also suggested the conferring 
of wider powers in the matter of the alienation of 
land and land revenue. 4 The list of the alterations 
demanded for enhancing the authority of the Local 
Governments was long and comprised the removal 
of minute restrictions, financial and administrative, 



1 R. C. D. Vol. Ill, Appendix II. Note by the 
Lieutenant Governor of Burma. 

*. Ibid. Also Madras Government memorandum Vol. II 
8 R. C. D. Vol. II Appendix II, Madras Government 
Memo. Desired alteration to Article 4, 168,357,422,475 
and 642 of the Civil Service Regulations ; Bradley Q. 137. 

* R. C. D. Vol. II Appendix II, para 31. 



278 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

which were embodied in the financial codes or 
enactments and statutory rules. 1 

The Provincial Governments, moreover, discussed 
the theory which should determine the control by 
the Government of India over them. They 
accepted the right of the latter to lay down general 
policy, but once the principles were defined, they 
desired a free hand in applying that policy to 
particular cases, or in cases "where no questions 
of principle are involved."* Mr. Streatfield, 
Officiating Secretary of Bengal, said "that the 
Local Governments should be trusted to work 
out details, and criticism on points of detail should 
be confined to suggestions which the Local 
Government should be at liberty to accept or reject 
after considering all the circumstances." 8 This 
opinion fairly represented the views of the Provincial 
Governments. 

The Government of Bombay, however, submitted 
a scheme which aimed at "a definition of functions 
that can with greatest advantage be exercised by a 
Central Government, and those that can be entrusted 

1 See Schedule I, II, III to the Report. R. C. D. Vol. 
I. pp. 312-337, for a classified list of the proposed alterations 
to the Civil Service Regulations, Civil Account Code 
and the different Acts of the Indian legislatures. Bengal 
letter to Commission, R. C. D. Vol IV Appendix II ; 
Mr. Gait, Chief Secretary of Bengal. Vol. IV. 

* Mr. Streatfield Q. 14709; Mr. Gait Q. 14445 ; 
Mr. Oldham. Q. 14844 ; Mr. Bradley. Q. 1223-32 ; Bombay 
Government Note Vol. VIII. Appendix II. Part III. ; 
Mr. Lamb Q, 32067. Vol. VIII. 

R, C. D. Vol. IV Q. 14709. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 279 

to the local administrations." The functions of the 

Imperial Government were to be defined and were 

to be such as might be of a general character 

affecting the whole country. Then "all functions 

not centralised" were to be fully within the control 

of the Provincial Governments. "In these 

departments the Local Government should be subject 

to control not exceeding that exercised by the 

Secretary of State over the Government of India." 

Further, it envisaged the removal of restrictions on 

the powers of the local legislatures, which "should 

have full power and responsibility to legislate" on 

all subjects within the cognizance of the Local 

Government, including those affecting the jurisdiction 

of the High Courts. The local legislatures, 

moreover, should have liberty of framing their rules 

for the conduct of business, "the discussion of the 

budget and the nomination of additional members," 

subject to the general principles determined by the 

"Central Authority." In respect of financial powers, 

the scheme was comprehensive. Though it ruled 

out the immediate practicability of "complete 

financial autonomy of the Local Governments," it 

provided for "decentralisation of expenditure between 

the Local Government and the Government of 

India after the provision has been made for the 

requirements of the former" by allocating sufficient 

I revenues. "Within the limits of the fund allotted, 1 * 

the Provincial Governments would be free to 

administer their departments and would not be 

subject to any control by the Government of India 

either in framing their budget or in regulating 



280 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

questions of pay, allowances etc. We understand 
from the evidence of Mr. Lamb, Chief Secretary 
to the Government of Bombay, that this proposal 
involved the separation of revenues and expenditure 
by the abolition of the 'divided heads', and 
introduction of a "fixed assignment from provincial 
to imperial instead of from imperial to provincial." 
The budget of the provincial heads was to be debated 
and settled in the local council and should not be 
"liable to alteration by the Government of India." 
The power of taxation and borrowing was also to 
be given to them. 1 

The justification of such a far reaching scheme 
was the proposed "measure for conferring a 
representative character upon Provincial 
Governments." The Government of Bombay was 
perfectly correct in its estimate that unless the 
development of representative institutions in the 
provinces was "accompanied by decentralisation of 
administrative powers," there could not be a 
possibility of administration coming "more into 
touch with native sentiment," without which 
political agitation would not cease. 2 If the 
proposed constitutional reforms were to be a reality, 
it was essential that the superior governments should 
devolve authority on the subordinate agencies. The 
right of discussing the provincial budget, unless 

*. R. C. D. Vol. VIII. Appendix II. Part III. Bombay 
Government's Note. Mr. Lamb. Q 32067, Vol, VIII, 
R. C. D. Vol. VIII. Appendix II, 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 281 

it was intended to be a farce, implied that the 
Government of India should, to that extent, relax 
its control over the Local Governments. But as 
the reforms did not in any great measure bring 
the executive government under the control of the 
legislature, it was not possible to accept these 
proposals for financial decentralisation. 

Non-official Indians naturally associated 
enhancement of the powers of the Local 
Governments with the introduction of popular control, 
for otherwise they feared that withdrawal of the 
superintendence of the Government of India would 
make provincial administration more official and 
reactionary. To Mr. Gokhale, "mere official control, 
imperfectly exercised from a long distance is better 
than no control, and I certainly have no wish to see 
petty despotisms pure and simple, set up in place of 
the present Provincial Governments." 1 

His opinion was generally shared by the political 
Indian public. 2 Nevertheless, the non-officials 
favoured decentralisation and the financial freedom 
of the Provincial Governments, if "a proper and 
effective control by the public opinion of the 
province" could be secured. They wished to have 

1 R. C. D. Vol. VIII. Q. 33489. 

3 See evidence of Rai Kishori Lai Goswami Q. 15378, 
15474; Maharaja of Cossimbazar, Vol. IV; Babu Moti Lai 
Ghosh Q. 18398; Babu Ambica Charan Mazumdar was 
for no relaxation to the bureaucratic governments. 
Q. 19143. Also see Mr. R. N. Mudholkar's Presidential 
Address to the Indian National Congress 1912 (Proceedings, 
p. 18.) 



282 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the seat of final authority in the province itself, but 
on condition that a "real voice in the conduct of 
provincial affairs" was to be given to the "popular 
representatives." It was frankly admitted that 
without decentralisation, financial and administrative, 
there could be no scope for the development of 
responsible government. 1 

Mr. Gokhale in his evidence submitted his 
scheme, which was same as in 1896, for the complete 
separation of sources of revenue coupled with 
contribution from provincial revenues to the Imperial 
Government. According to his scheme the 
administration and control of general subjects like 
postal department and railways as well as general 
taxation and general legislation was to be placed in 
the Government of India and the "rest of the 
internal administration of the country" in the 
Provincial Governments, which should be free from 
all interference in matters of detail However, he 
considered it necessary that "large questions of 
policy even in regard to the internal administration 
of the country, should be reserved by the Government 
of India in its hands, so as to ensure a general, but 
not rigid, uniformity of administration in the 
different provinces, as also to initiate reforms, which, 
if left merely to Local Governments, may not be 
taken in hand.'" 



1 Mr. Gokhale Q. 33489; Mr. B. N. Sarma Q. 9497 : 
Rai Sri Ram Bahadur Q. 29515 ; B. Ganga Prasad Varma 
Q. 29634; Also Pt. Malviya's Presidential Address at the 
24th Indian National Congress, Lahore 1909 (Proceedings 
p. 35) 

* R, C. D, Vol. VIII Q, 33489. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 283 

Non-official opinion did not trust the Local 
Governments, particularly such as may be termed 
'one man administrations/ It is remarkable that 
in Bengal generally the feeling was against the 
extension of the authority of the Local Government, 
though it favoured the separation of Imperial and 
provincial finance. 1 On the whole, the non-official 
witnesses were prepared for "greater elasticity and 
greater autonomy in the action of the Provincial 
Government", but viewed with apprehension any 
move which might free the latter from superior 
control without substituting the check of public 
opinion as represented in the local Legislative 
Council. 

The Royal Commission thus had before it the 
considered opinion of the Local Governments and 
the non-officials that the exercise 
Recommendations of its lega i powe rs by the Central 
of the Commission r , , 

and their Government often cramped the 

character, initiative of the subordinate 
governments and led to unnecessary 
correspondence and increase of work. Frankly it 
was stated that the administration had become over 
centralised. The remedy proposed was a further 
delegation of powers so that the Local Governments 
should be free in the determination of details within 
the framework of general policy adumbrated by the 
Supreme Government. The Commission also learnt 

1 See evidence of Rai Kisbori Lai Goswami. Babu 
Ambica Charan Mazumdar, Babu Moti Lai Ghosh, Babq 
JJhupendra Nath Basn etc. R v C. D. Vol. )V, 



284 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

that decentralisation unaccompanied by transfer of 
power to the representatives of the people would be 
distasteful to the latter. Further, it had the views 
of the Government of India which took its stand on 
its legal and constitutional powers and justified its 
controlling authority in the interest of uniformity of 
administration and responsibility to the Secretary 
of State. Even its financial control was defended 
on the ground of stability and solvency of the Indian 
Empire. The problem before the Commission 
was to secure such adjustment of powers as might 
reconcile these mutually conflicting interests. But 
its terms of reference did not empower it to suggest 
alterations in the constitutional position The 
result was that the recommendations were halting 
and touched merely minor matters of detail. The 
Commission, however, recognised that larger financial 
decentralisation would be possible when the scope 
of the Legislative Councils was enlarged. 1 

Impressed by the necessity for uniformity of 
system, the Commission recommended that the 
"Provincial Governments should be subject in all 
respects to the general control of the Government 
of India," but that "the future policy should be 
directed to the enlargement of the spheres of 
detailed administration entrusted" to them. 1 
Though they were satisfied with the existing financial 
relations, yet they suggested a greater fixity of 

1 R. C. D. Vol I, paras 87, 99, 122 and 130. 
* R. C, D. Vol. I paras 46 and 49. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 285 

settlements, substitution of a growing share of 
revenues in place of fixed assignments, and the 
increase of financial powers of the Local 
Governments to the same extent as had been given 
to the Government of India in 1907 in respect 
of appointments, allowances, reorganisation of 
establishments etc. 1 In case the provincial 
Legislative Councils obtained an effective control 
over provincial finance, they were prepared 
to commit the "more distinct sources of revenue 11 
to the Provincial Governments with greater 
control over the budget, power of taxation and 
more latitude in regard to appointments and 
establishments. 8 They recommended the revision 
of the Civil Service Regulations and the 
Civil Account Code so as to free the Local 
Governments from unnecessary trammels on their 
authority. 8 In respect of public works department, 
forest, excise and land revenue some enhancement 
of powers was suggested. 4 So also in the matter 
of police and medical service, they thought that 
the Government of India should limit its control 
to the "prescription of general principles and lines 
of policy" leaving all other matters to the Local 
Governments. 8 The abolition of the Imperial 



1 R. C. D. Vol. I paras 67, 71, 120, 123, 129, 133-5 ; 
125-128. 

8 R. C. D. Vol. I. Paras 72, 87, 99, 122, 130 and 133. 
8 Ibid I. Paras 155-158, 169. 

* Ibid I. Paras 210-2, 206, 208, 210, 1214, 220, 223 ; 
292, 305315 ; 186 ; 245, 249, 252-5, 259. 

* Ibid I, Paras 349-51 ; 377 f 379 f 384. 



286 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Officers was not proposed but they were required to 
be merely advisory officers of the Government of 
India. 1 

Shortly before the publication of the Report 

of the Royal Commission, Lord Morley made a 

statement, 2 based on earlier 

The effect of the correspondence 5 between the 
Mmto-M orley- r T j- j ^ 

Reforms. Government of India and the 

Secretary of State, outlining the 
scheme of constitutional reforms which the 
Government was prepared to concede. A Bill was 
later introduced and passed by Parliament, providing 
among other important subjects for the expansion 
of the Legislative Councils. The Legislative 
Councils, provincial and Imperial, were to be 

1 R. C. D. Vol. I. Paras 395-404. 

The recommendations of the Decentralisation 
Commission did not provoke much comment as the public 
attention was drawn to the reform scheme then on the 
anvil. Non-officials, moreover, were not competent to 
criticise it owing to the technical character of many 
suggestions. Nevertheless, a section of Indian Press 
criticised their rejection of the demand of the Local 
Governments for separation of resources and desired that 
adequate revenues should be placed with the Local 
Governments as they were responsible for the well-being 
and advancement of the people. For example Hindustan 

Review, May and June 1909. pp 560-4. The Pioneer 
however stood for complete centralisation. Pioneer. 
29 March 1909. 

* 17 December 1908 in the House of Lords. Indian 
Speeches by Viscont Morley. pp. 75-98. 

8 Despatches from the Government of India dated 
24 August 1907 and dated March 1908 and the reply of 
the Secretary of State. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AN AFTER 287 

enlarged so as to provide for a substantial non-official 
element in them, and the extension of the powers 
of the legislature over the budget and the 
administrative measures of the government. 1 But 
there was no intention of establishing a system of 
responsible government. The only purpose was 
to give to the Councils Increased facilities for 
expressing views upon the budget'* at an early 
stage so that, if desirable, effect could be given to 
the suggestions tendered there. "The ultimate 
control," as the Government of India put it 
"must, however, rest with the government and 
no useful purpose would be served by affecting 
to ignore this essential fact."* The Councils could 
not divide on the budget, and their resolutions, 
whether on financial or administrative matters had 
merely a recommendatory effect. However, even 
this partial development had its influence on the 
subsequent relationship between the Central and the 
Provincial Governments. 

The Government of India proposed a scheme 
for the discussion of the budget in the local Councils 
which was accepted by the Secretary of State. 
According to it, the function of the Council was to 

1 Lord Morley wrote, "the main object of our 
proposals was to give the Legislative Councils a more 
truly representative character, among other means by 
increasing their numbers, by substituting election for 
nomination in constructing them, and by a liberal extension 
of their freedom of discussion." Recollections Vol. II. p. 160. 

1 Despatch from the Government of India to the 
Secretary of State. March 1908. 



286 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

assist the Provincial Government "to keep the 
demands of its departments within its estimated 
revenue" and help it in preparing a part of the 
budget. The method adopted was to divide the 
provincial budget in two parts, "the second dealing 
with purely Imperial major heads and the first with 
provincial and divided heads of revenue and 
expenditure." In part one, there was provision for 
an "unallotted grant 91 of considerable dimensions. 
When the Government of India had determined the 
maximum amount of provincial expenditure, the 
figures were communicated to the Local Government. 
The Standing Finance Committee of the local 
Legislative Council, which was to consist of six 
officials and an equal number of non-officials, then 
met and discussed the distribution of the grant to 
various provincial services. This allotment was 
subsequently submitted to the Government of India 
for incorporation in the Imperial estimates. When 
the Central Government had accepted the second 
provincial estimate thus framed, the budget was 
placed before the Committee of the whole Council, 
and discussion held on it. In the light of this 
debate, changes and reappropriations, if necessary, 
were to be made by the Local Government, provided 
the maximum amount was not exceeded without 
tne sanction of the Government of India. Finally 
the budget was presented to the Council for debate, 
but neither could resolutions be passed nor votes 
be taken on it. 1 The result of this procedure was 



1 Reform despatch of the Government of India, No. 21 
(Public) 1 October 1908. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 289 

that the detailed examination by the Government 
of India in the allotment of funds for provincial 
services was eliminated, and the Local Government 
was free to determine the expenditure on provincial 
heads with the advice of the Legislative Council No 
doubt, the Government of India had rarely interfered 
with these figures before, but now it desired to 
abstain from it absolutely. It fixed the limit of 
provincial expenditure under each 'major 1 head and 
reviewed the estimates of revenue but that was only 
for the purpose of approximating, as correctly as 
possible, the estimates to actual expenditure. This 
arrangement of 1908-9 relaxed the control further. 1 

The Government of India hoped that by adopting 
this procedure, the Legislative Councils would acquire 
"a reasonable share in the settlement of expenditure," 
and decentralisation would be promoted, without 
tending in any way to the relaxation of "the 
control which is exercised by the Secretary of State 
in Council over the expenditure of the revenues 
of India.' 1 Also that "a larger measure of financial 
independence" would be conferred on the Provincial 
Governments and the "representatives of the people 
will be in a position to take more effective part in 
shaping the policy of the government."* The 
picture was painted perhaps in too bright colours. 



Summary of the Principal Measures 
Viceroyalty of Lord Minto in the Finance Depi 

1 Summary of Measures of Lord Minto in 
Department p. 53. 

* Reform Despatch of the Governm<|f> 
1 October 1908. para 74, 




290 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

The authority conferred on the local legislatures was 
so inconsiderable that it could not appreciably affect 
the principle of ultimate control. It is true that 
indirectly the views of the additional members of 
the Legislative Council and public opinion outside 
influenced to a minor extent the financial 
administration of the provinces. But as long as 
the right of voting the budget was not conceded to 
the Legislative Councils, control by the Government 
of India remained unimpaired. In this situation, it 
was futile to expect effective financial independence 
of the Provincial Governments. 

Decentralisation, however, was in the air. The 

Government of India and the Secretary of State 

desired to enhance the discretion of 

the L Cal Governments as far as 
consistent with their legal status. 

On the report of the Royal Commission, the 
Government of India formulated its proposals, and 
submitted them to the Secretary of State on October 
6, 1910. We do not know the contents of this 
despatch, but it may be presumed that "so far as 
financial matters are concerned, liberal proposals for 
the relaxation of control over provincial expenditure 
have been forwarded to the Secretary of State." 1 
The Government of India's suggestions in respect of 
the recommendations of the Commission about the 
public works department were also liberal.* The 

1 Summary of Measures of Lord Minto in the Finance 
Department pp. 141-142. 

* Summary of Measures of Lord Minto in the P. W. D, 
pp. 67-71. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 291 

financial arrangements of 1912 were the outcome of 
these decisions, and in a large measure they marked 
the further development of provincial finance. 

The Royal Commission had objected to fixed 
assignments and the Provincial Governments had 
opposed the policy of the "doles." There was 
criticism also on the score of inequality of settlements. 
Also the quasi-permanent settlement had to be 
revised in one case, serious readjustment was effected 
in another, and Bengal was on the verge of 
bankruptcy. Other governments were also craving 
for assistance from the Central Government. 1 The 
financial situation of the Government of India, too, 
was not quite satisfactory owing to the decline of 
opium revenue and the projected expenditure on 
education and sanitation. Hence it desired "to 
remove every avoidable element of uncertainty" and 
to secure fixity in provincial finance. 2 

A change therefore was imperative. With the 
concurrence of the Secretary of State the Government 
of India declared the settlement with each of the eight 
major provinces permanent, after making necessary 
modifications in the shares of the Local Governments 
so as to avoid the necessity of making fixed 
assignments. The only reservation was that in 
case of widespread famine the Government of India 
would come to the succour of the Local Government, 
and the former, in its turn, would call for aid "in 

1 Financial Statement 1911-12, paras 49-50. 

Resolution (Finance) No. 27 F. 18 May 1812 para, 4. 



292 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

case of a great war or in grave financial crisis/' 
The settlements, otherwise, were to be "fixed rigid 
and permanent." The Resolution of 1912 embodied 
the main features and conditions of the new 
development. It declared that the "principles 
underlying the existing settlements" remained 
unchanged. The "divided heads" still existed, and the 
system of the "doles" and fixed assignments was 
not entirely given up. Permanence was the 
fundamental point. Also there was some liberation 
of the Provincial Government from the Supreme 
Government's control in the matter of budget etc., 
under the amended rules. 1 

The Government of India did not accept the 
charge of inequality of treatment to different 
provinces, but recognised the necessity of some 
minor changes in the quasi-permanent settlements 
before declaring them permanent. These involved 
the provincialisation of the whole forest revenue 
and expenditure, and excise in Bombay, but of only 
three fourths in the United and Central Provinces. 
Some readjustments were made in the land-revenue 
in Burma and the Punjab. This was done to reduce 
the amount of the fixed assignments in these 
provinces. It was also provided that "when the 
fixed assignment of a province becomes unduly large 
and hampers the expansion of its revenue, as 
compared with the legitimate and necessary growth 
of expenditure, it will ordinarily be converted, either 

1 Resolution of 18 May 1912, and Financial Statement 
1911-12, 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 293 

in whole or in part, into a share of growing revenues" 
when the Government of India found it convenient. 
Some relaxation of control was promised in respect 
of special allotments or "doles" out of the surplus 
Imperial revenue. Further the Local Governments 
were allowed a little more freedom in framing their 
budgets so that they could budget even for a deficit 
under certain conditions. Though the Government 
of India then favoured provincial taxation, it did 
not consider it essential in the existing circumstances 
to "vary or diminish the control both executive and 
legislative" which it possessed. 1 So also, with 
regard to provincial borrowing no decision was 
reached. But authority was given to the Local 
Governments to sanction borrowing by local bodies 
which had heretofore required the sanction of the 
Government of India. 2 At the same time the 
restrictions on the spending powers of the Local 
Governments were relaxed by enhancing their 
authority in respect of creation of appointments, grant 
of salaries, and sanctioning of public works. 3 

The Government of India, however, did not 
accept other recommendations of the Royal 
Commission, specially in respect of land-revenue 
settlements in provinces other than Bombay and 
Madras. It strongly objected to the suggestion of 
embodying general , principles of assessment and 

1 Resolution 18 May 1912. 

8 Resolution No. 6215 A, 30 October 1910. 

3 Ambedkar pp. 142-151 Resolution Finance 
Department No. 361 E. A. 24 July 1916. restated the 
provisions of the earlier Resolution of 1912-1913. 



294 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the period of settlements in provincial legislation. * 
The general supervision and control over 
administration was also not abrogated. In these 
respects no change seems to have been proposed 
or effected. 

The relaxation of control in many matters of 
detail which had heretofore trammelled the discretion 

of the Local Governments was a 

The extent to ver usefu j re f or m. But it did 

whichthese . _ . 

changes meet not m an y manner affect the 

the situation. fundamental basis of the relations 

of the Provincial Governments 
with the Central Government. At best it could 
relieve the former of the necessity of reference to 
the latter on rather trivial matters, and thus tend 
to the decrease of work in the Government of 
India. The fixity of financial settlements, too, 
while marking an advance in the system of 
provincial finance, did not alter the principle 
of these settlements, namely, that they were 
assignments of part of the revenue of the Government 
of India to meet authorised provincial expenditure. 
The basis of these contracts was still the "outlay 
which each province might reasonably incur upon the 
services which it administered." 2 The measure was 
not the revenue which accrued in the province, for the 
revenues were not considered to be the legal 
possession of the Provincial Governments. Naturally, 

1 Summary of Measures of Lord Minto in the Revenue 
Department, page 35. 

* Resolution, 18 May 1912. 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTFR 295 

in determining the extent of provincial expenditure 
the Government of India had primary consideration 
for its own services. Undoubtedly by the 
arrangement of 1912, this determination of provincial 
charges and the allotment of revenues sufficient 
to meet them was made beyond the possibility of 
revision, with the result that the Provincial 
Governments could use, without any apprehension 
of its being curtailed, the normal growth of revenue 
for the benefit of the province. But the day was 
still far ahead when the Local Governments would 
have a legal title to certain sources of revenue 
whose yield would determine their expenditure. 

The divided heads, moreover, provided an 
entry for the control by the Supreme Government 
not by means of its general powers of superintendence 
but by virtue of its financial interests in the 
management of those services by the Local 
Governments. Hence that demand for the 
separation of revenues and the financial independence 
of the Provincial Governments subject only to the 
general control by the Supreme Government, could 
not be satisfied. The provincial budget still required 
the sanction of the Government of India, and control 
by the local Legislative Council was not yet secured. 
The discretion of the Local Governments though 
widened, was still narrow enough. Could it be hoped 
that in these circumstances the new arrangement 
would satisfy the Provincial Governments and evoke 
enthusiasm in the political bodies in the country ? 

There was at the same time little alteration 
in the administrative and legislative control by the 



296 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Government of India. The "doles" with their 
consequent opportunity to the Central Government 
to direct the policy of the Local Governments in 
specific matters, were still a feature of Indian 
administration. The general principles of 
administration were determined by the Supreme 
Government and their application was keenly 
watched because of the critical disposition of public 
opinion. The responsibility of governments in 
India to the Secretary of State and the Parliament 
was still unabated. How, then could the Provincial 
Governments expect to have a free hand in their 
administration ? Progress till 1912 had been in the 
direction of liberating the Provincial Governments 
in matters of detail for administrative convenience. 
The outer limit to which the authority of these 
Governments within the existing constitution could 
be extended had been reached. The discretion of 
the official agents of the Parliament had been 
emancipated to the extent convenient for smooth 
working. But it did not make the Provincial 
Governments free, did not lead to financial 
autonomy and self-reliance, because without 
effecting a radical change in the constitutional 
position that object was unattainable. 1 Political 
opinion in the country could not be satisfied, for 
the control which it demanded on the financial and 
administrative policy of the Local Governments 
was not conceded. These measures thus stopped 
short of the preliminary of decentralisation, the 
establishment of popular control. Till 1912, it 
may be said that the development had been towards 



DECENTRALISATION COMMISSION AND AFTER 297 

departmental decentralisation, and if that alone had 
to be provided for, success would have crowned 
these projects. But the growing political awakening 
in the country and the demand for subordinating 
the administration to the will of the people sought 
solution, and this factor speeded the march towards 
"Provincial Autonomy". 



1 The Finance Member hoped that these results would 
come about by the proposed "Permanent Settlement." 
Financial Statement 1911-12. 

F. 38 



CHAPTER YH 

ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 

The permanent settlement fulfilled the 

anticipations of Sir Edward Law in as much as it 

effected "another considerable 

The new system advance towards the desired goal. 1 ' 1 
of finance (1912 . . , r . * 

arrangements) in lt marked a further step, perhaps a 

action. very important step forward, in the 

( c ! ) ^ erm ^ ne " t process of decentralisation which 
Settlement i t s f 

import. had begun forty years before. But 

it introduced no new principles. 
Of its four special characteristics, namely, the 
withdrawal of all minute control over the provincial 
budgets, rigid enforcement of the "doctrine of 
contractual responsibility," assignment of shares 
of growing revenues to Provincial Governments in 
place of large fixed allotments, and the further 
provincialisation of certain revenues, though all 
pointed to an advance, yet none was a new feature 
of provincial finance. 8 Undoubtedly, the declaration 

1 Minute by Sir Edward Law, 1904, quoted in Financial 
Statement 1911-12, para 50. 

8 Mr. Gokhale's speech in the Budget Debate of 1911. 
He considered that the first of these was a change which 
was new. But the Government of India had long declared 
its intention to withdraw minute control over the provincial 
budget and generally had not interfered with the distribution 
of fur^ds on particular sub-heads. In 1911, however, the 
Government of India announced that it would determine 

298 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 299 

that future corrections in provincial budgets would 
be confined to the major divided heads, and to the 
total revenue and expenditure in Local Government's 
estimates, promised to free the Local Governments 
from a detailed scrutiny into the provisions of their 
budget estimates. 1 This was possible owing to the 
appearance of the local Legislative Council on 
the stage in the task of framing a portion of 
the provincial budget. The most important result, 
however, of the permanent settlement was the 
exclusion of the possibility of the revision of these 
contracts, ensuring thus, a continuity in the financial 
policy of the Local Governments. Sir G. F. Wilson 
hoped that "it will give the Local Governments a 
more abiding interest in managing and directing 
their own resources, it will greatly reduce the 
occasions for interference by the Central Government, 
and it will stimulate provincial independence and 
self-reliance." 2 The rules of 1912 which regularised 
the financial powers of the Local Governments were 
so framed as to assist the realisation of these ends. 
Also the settlements were so adjusted as to preclude 
the possibility of Local Governments' approaching 
the Government of India for further grants. The 
latter wanted more certainty in its finance and to 
be relieved "from the unforeseen and indeterminate 

only the total of revenue and expenditure and not scrutinise 
the major heads. This was an advance on the existing 
system, but not a novel procedure involving an alteration 
of principle. 

1 Financial Statement 191M2. para 53, 
3 Ibid para 56. 



300 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

liability to which Imperial revenues were formerly 
exposed by the financial difficulties of any individual 
province. 111 It was expected that their share of 
growing revenues would prepare the Local 
Governments to meet all demands from their own 
resources, and the Government of India would be 
free "for the closer regulation of our Imperial 
expenditure." 

A hope, at the same time, was held out to the 
Local Governments, that they would not be debarred 
from sharing in the surpluses of the Government of 
India. From time to time, that Government had 
given grants to provinces " in order to admit the Local 
Governments to a share in an exceptional increase 
of prosperity, or to afford the means of financing 
a policy which commends itself to the central 
authority."* This system was severely criticised 
before the Royal Commission on Decentralisation, 8 
but the Government of India considered that the 
total abolition of such grants-in-aid or "doles" was 
impracticable. 4 The chief reasons were firstly that 
in the case of a surplus the Supreme Government 
would naturally desire to give a share to the Local 
Governments and secondly that when a policy, 
aiming at the progress of the country, had been 
laid down by the Government of India it must step 

1 Financial Statement 1911*12, para 56. 
1 Resolution 18 May 1912, para 6. 

* R. C. D. paras 75-76; also Vol. VIII Appendix II; 
Q. 19243, 32285-91, 32354-8 etc. 

* Resolution 18 May 1912. 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 301 

in to finance it in order to "insure its efficient 
prosecution. 1 ' It was generally held that such grants 
and the subsequent interference by the Government 
of India restricted the liberty of the Provincial 
Governments. To minimise the disadvantages the 
Government of India accepted the recommendation 
of the Royal Commission on Decentralisation under 
this head. 1 The Government of Bombay, however, 
desired that the mode of expending such 
grant should be left to the discretion of the Local 
Government, but the Government of India could 
not accept the suggestion. It agreed to abstain 
from critical enquiry into the object to which 
the "dole" was to be applied, but considered it 
necessary "to specify the general purposes of the 
assignment" so that it might not be diverted to other 
purposes. 2 

Before the issue of the financial Resolution of 
18 May 1912, the policy of "doles" had been 



1 R. C. D. recommended the adoption of three 
principles : 

(1) The system should not involve any greater 

degree of interference by the Central 
Government with the provincial than at 
present exists. 

(2) The grants should be given with due 

regard to the wishes of the provincial 
authorities; and 

(3) They should not be assigned necessarily 

for the same object in every province, 
R. C. D. paras. 77-79. 

* Resolution 18 May 1912. 



302 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

attacked by Mr. Gokhale and 

?'}.?? ,r licy other non-officials in the Imperial 
of Doles _ . , . ^ .,,%, f 

Legislative Council. The former 

called it a "thoroughly demoralising policy" and 
apprehended that its adoption would wreck the 
permanence of the settlements. 2 The Finance 
Secretary did not, however, accept the contention 
that the Local Governments should have a final 
voice in spending such assignments, and said that 
"the Central Government must retain the option 
of saying how its grants are to be spent." 8 Next 
year, Mr. Gokhale returned to the attack by 
proposing a regular grant of two-thirds of the surplus, 
whenever it accrued, to the Local Governments 
so as to form "the nucleus of special provincial 
reserves from which those governments could finance 
programmes of non-recurring expenditure" on 
education, sanitation etc. He said that the doles 
led to a scramble similar to the one which occurred 
before 1870, and suggested 'that money should be 

1 Budget Debate 1911 (Proceedings of the Legislative 
Council of India. 191 1) 

2 Mr. Gokhale's speech. Budget debate 1911. (Pro. 
Legislative Council 1911). He wanted a better division 
of resources so that the Central Government might not 
have a large surplus to dispose of in 'doles'. He suggested 
the example of Switzerland and Germany. In the end 
he pointed out, "so far the advance has been from 
centralised finance to decentralised finance. When the 
process of decentralisation is complete, we have to advance 
from that to federal finance, which should be our goal" 

8 Mr. Meston's speech. 1911, Budget Debate. (Pro, 
Legislative Council 1911). 



ON THE EVE Ofr THE REFORMS 303 

rateably distributed, its detailed application being 
left to the Local Governments, a course suitably 
consistent with the promise of provincial 
autonomy. 1 But Sir James Meston again defended 
the system by arguing that such subsidies were 
given only "in pursuance of a definite scheme 
of high Imperial policy," on the basis of already 
prepared schemes which could not be prosecuted 
for want of funds. This point of view of the 
Government of India was not reprehensible ; 
for as long as it abstained from a too minute 
control of expenditure from such "doles/ 1 the 
determination of the policy and the regulation of 
the speed in executing it must be retained by 
the Supreme Government which was responsible 
for the good government of the country. 2 



1 Mr. Gokhale's speech. Also speech by Sir James 
Meston. Debate on Financial Statement 7 March 1912 
(Pro. Legislative Council 1912). 

3 Sir James Meston expressed the viewpoint of the 
Government of India forcibly in his speech. He said, "the 
Government of India are ultimately responsible for the 
progress of the country ; the broad lines of policy have 
to be laid down by the Central Government, which becomes 
responsible for seeing that the provinces take their shares 
in carrying out that policy. It does not very much matter 
whether the pressure comes from above from Parliament, 
or from below from some strong province, or from 
outside from public opinion or from within. In any case 
it is the Government of India which have to finance the 
policy, which have to direct it and to make it a success. 
They cannot possibly force a new and costly policy on 
Local Governments unless they are also prepared to 
help in finding the money for it. Consequently, it seems 
to me that the Central Government must retain the option 



304 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Nevertheless, it cannot be gainsaid that the policy 
of "grants-in-aid" restricted the discretion of the 
Local Governments to a large extent. Its only 
defence was that the system of government in 
force was unitary not federal "Doles" have no 
place in a system of federal finance, but as yet 
such a development was remote. 

Apart from the "doles/ 1 the permanent settlement 

of 1912 facilitated the extension of the powers of 

financial control possessed by the 

*?? i Fi r na , n n! a J Local Governments. Two resolutions 
Rules of 1912 . , . _ , _ . 

and 1916. were lssue d m 1912, defining the 

general financial relations between 
the Government of India and the Local Governments 
and amending in many respects the regulations 
of 1897. 1 In 1916, again, these rules were 
consolidated with some modifications, and 
ultimately were incorporated in >the 'Book 
of Financial Powers' in 1918. 2 The financial 
codes and regulations were amended in their 
light. The new rules enhanced the powers of 
sanction enjoyed by the Local Governments, and 
generally followed the recommendations of the Royal 
Commission on Decentralisation. 8 The general 

of saying how its grants are to be spent when they have 
made these grants in pursuance of a definite scheme under 
the new system." (Proceedings Legislative Council. 
7 March 1912). 

1 Resolution dated 18 May 1912 and 15 July 1912. 
a Resolution No. 361 E.A. 24 July 1916. 
8 Ibid. 



ON THE EVE Of THE REFORMS 305 

limitations, however, on their powers of sanction 
remained the same, except in certain instances, the 
chief of which were : (1) that they were permitted 
to assign to a local body or to a special fund items 
of provincial revenue of recurring character not 
derived from proceeds of general taxation, the yield 
of which did not exceed Rs. 25,000 a year; 1 (2) that 
they could undertake new expenditure if not (a) of 
an unusual nature, or (6) devoted to objects outside 
the ordinary work of administration or (o) likely to 
involve at a later date expenditure beyond their 
powers of sanction; 2 (3) that they secured the same 
rights in respect of provincial and divided heads as 
possessed by the Government of India; 8 (4) that 
they got larger powers of sanctioning allowances 
etc.; 4 (5) that their authority of sanctioning new 
appointments was raised to Rs. 800 p. m. t and of 
revising establishments involving extra expenditure up 
to Rs. 50,000; 5 (6) that power was given to sanction 
charitable grants to institutions, land-gifts and pensions 
to officials and non-officials, expenditure on state 
ceremonies and on the purchase of conveyances etc. 
for use by the head of the province, within certain 
limits, 6 (7) that the power of sanctioning public works 

Resolution 24 July 1916. Annexure Rule II 5 

Ibid. Rule II 5 (11) 

Ibid, Rule II 7 ; Resolution Finance No. 368 E. A. 
15 March 1913 

Ibid Rule II. 8. 

Ibid Rule III. 10 (2) and (6) 

Ibid Rule III. 10 (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) C14) (16) (17) 
etc. 

F. 39 



306 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

expenditure was raised 1 , and (8) that their powers 
were extended in respect of Imperial items of 
expenditure. 2 

But in spite of this enlargement of powers, 
many restrictions, as close as before, on the 
authority of the Local Governments still existed. 
The most inconvenient of these, from the point of 
view of the Local Governments were the limitations 
on their discretion to budget for a deficit, to exhaust 
the provincial balances or to exceed the total 
estimated expenditure, without the sanction of the 
Government of India. 8 Though the limit was 
increased yet the Provincial Governments did not 
possess absolute powers to create appointments 
and revise establishments. 4 It is true, however, 
that they had the same powers as the Government 
of India in this respect. The old prohibitions were 
retained regarding investment of public funds, 
raising of additional taxation, borrowing on the 
guarantee of their revenues, the form or procedure 

1 Resolution 24 July 1916. Rule III 10 (18) 
Ibid Rule IV. 11-18. 

* Ibid Rule V. 19-26 

In 1915*16 the orders of the Government of India 
were that the total expenditure in the province must not 
exceed the revenue so that, the already large provincial 
balances could not be utilized, and in 1916-17 and 1917- 
18 still more stringent restrictions were imposed, all new 
expenditure being prohibited unless it were imperatively 
necessary, or immediately remunerative or necessary to 
avoid waste. Administration of Sir James Meston 
1913-1918. p. 84. 

* Resolution 24 July 1916 Rule III. 10 



ON THE BVB OF THE REFORMS 307 

of public accounts or delegation of financial powers 
to subordinate authority. 1 The financial codes and 
regulations remained in practice as stringent as 
before till the year 1918, and controlled the exercise 
of financial powers by the Local Governments. 
Finally, these powers were subject to the supervision 
and control by the Government of India which could 
issue specific instructions "on general or particular 
matters affecting provincial estimates, and revenues 
and services. 112 

The effect of these financial arrangements was 
"an undoubted advance upon the earlier centralised 
system," 8 but that would not 



f 

Their effect ., . r . , ., 

on the financial warrant the inference that the 

powers of responsibility of the Provincial 

the Local Governments was greatly increased 
Governments. . . . 

or that they were invested 

with "wider independence." 4 , The Local 

i Resolution 24 July 1916. Rule II (5) (5b) (1) (13) (7) 
and (10). 

Ibid. Rule II. 6. 

8 I. C. R. para 109. 

4 Bannerji. Provincial Finance p. 151, makes this 
statement, but modifies it on p. 156, by remarking. 
''These settlements, it is true ensured a certain amount of 
financial devolution, but they failed to secure to the 
provinces any substantial measure of financial freedom. 19 
There is more truth in his last remark. 

The permanent settlement was generally welcomed, 
but certain shortcomings were pointed out at the same 
time. Mr. Quin stated that there were some points in 
which it was not altogether acceptable to the Bombay 
Government, namely (1) restrictions about expenditure 
from provincial balances, (2) the earmarking of the special 
grants made by the Government of India, and (3) absence 



308 ORIGINS QP PROVING!^ AUTONOMY 

Governments had, no doubt, larger powers of 
sanction and, it may be presumed, the number of 
references to the Central Government must have 
decreased. But it may be doubted if they were 
free "to pursue their own development policy. 1 ' 
Apart from the restrictions on their authority 
imposed by the regulations above mentioned, they 
did not possess adequate resources to finance the 
schemes of internal progress. The settlements, 
as had been mentioned earlier, were based on a 
fixed standard of provincial expenditure, to meet 
which certain sources of revenue had been assigned 
to them. It was barely sufficient for the day to 

of the power of taxing and borrowing. He said that 
the utility of the Councils was marred owing to this 
control by the Government of India. Mr. Gokhale feared 
that the settlements might not be permanent and desired 
the provincialisation of certain heads of revenue as land 
revenue, excise, forests etc. Pt. Malaviya also objected to 
the inadequacy of the settlements and wanted a little more 
power and a little more responsibility for the Local 
Governments. 

On the other hand, the Government of India believed 
that the measure besides "being an essential step towards 
the greater stability of Indian finances" would "confer a 
larger measure of true decentralisation/ 1 Lord Hardinge 
felt "sure that I may now call on the provinces, as our 
partners in the work of good government, to cooperate 
with us in that economy without which true efficiency is 
impossible. 11 (Lord Hardinge's speech). The difference 
between the viewpoint of the non-official members of the 
Legislative Council and the Government of India was that 
whereas the latter considered the permanent settlement 
as effecting economy and stability in finances, the former 
looked upon it as a step in the progress towards Provincial 
Autonomy and criticized it from that point of view 
(Debate on the Financial Statement 1911), 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 309 

day administration of the provinces, and the share 
of growing revenues which might place in their 
hands a wider margin for prosecuting schemes of 
development could not be realised in the first few 
years. The consequence was that they had to 
depend for such purposes on the bounty of the 
Central Government, which was liberal with grants 
specifically alloted. The Local Governments 
asked for more and more and the non-official 
representatives of the provinces in the Imperial 
Council at the time of budget discussion, pressed 
for further grants for sanitation or education. 
When it gave money for such purposes, the 
Government of India could exercise control on 
expenditure. This position was a corollary of the 
absence of the power of taxing and borrowing in 
the hands of the Local Governments. The 
"power of controlling the levy of fresh sources of 
income" and the reservation of "entry to the 
public loan market entirely for the Central 
Government," contributed, as the joint authors 
of the report on Indian Constitutional Reforms 
rightly pointed out, "to the close subordination" 
of the Provincial Governments. 1 Because the 
Local Governments' resources were limited 
and because they could not be allowed by the 
* 'banker" (Government of India) to go bankrupt, 
the Government of India controlled their 
budgets to prevent their "drifting into a scale of 

1 l.C.R. paras 110-111. 



310 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

expenditure which will become stereotyped in 
permanent deficits and in the entire loss of financial 
independence." * Thus, owing to the "doles" and 
the budgetary and other restrictions, the control by 
the Supreme Government over the provincial finance 
was real even after the permanent settlement. 

One other factor associated with the existing 
settlements helped the continuance of the central 
control, namely, the interest of the Supreme 
Government in the divided heads of revenue. The 
new financial regulations had conferred on the 
Local Governments the same powers in respect of 
expenditure on divided heads as on the wholly 
provincial ones. But in the determination of such 
revenues the Government of India could not afford 
to be indifferent owing to its interest in them. 
Not improbably, in expenditure too, the Central 
Government would often decline to defray its 
share of expense on the desired improvement and 
thus indirectly veto the adoption of the proposed 
measures by the Local Government. We are told 
by the Government of India that "in case of divided 
heads, the Central (Financial) Department interfered 
on the plea of safeguarding its own interests. "* 
Small wonder, then, that some Local Governments 
and the non-officials should have advocated a 



1 Mr. Mesfon's speech. Budget Debate 1911 (Proc. 
Legislative Council 1911). 

8 Memorandum on Finance submitted by the 
Government of India to Feetham Committee. 31 Dece caber 
1918, para. 6, 



ON THE EVE OF THB REFORMS 311 

complete separation of resources and expenditure 
in order to establish provincial financial liberty. 

The position in 1918, so far as the financial 
relations between the Central and the Provincial 
Governments are concerned, was not radically different 
from that before the inauguration of the permanent 
settlement. The Provincial Governments could not 
undertake fresh taxation, or raise loans. The regulations 
embodied in the various financial codes gave the 
Finance Department of the Government of India 
"an infinite power of putting its finger into 
provincial affairs." 1 The "doles" restricted their 
liberty ; and the inadequacy of their revenues made 
them unable to respond to the demands of their 
Legislative Councils for increased expenditure on 
education, sanitation and such other public utility 
services. Also, another consequence of the central 
control was to prevent the local Legislative Councils 
from moulding the financial policy of the province. 
Naturally they became irresponsible in their criticism 
and embitterment increased. There was, further, 
no alteration in the principles of the financial system. 
It was still a unitary centralised system in which 
certain functions and powers had been delegated 
to the Local Governments for administrative 
convenience. There was as yet no federal finance. 
Decentralisation too had not progressed enough to 
lead to Provincial Autonomy. The system in its 



1 Memo. Feetham Committee 1918, para 13. 



313 ORKMN9 OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

main principled was anomalous in the altered 
political situation of the country. 

The control by the Government of India over 

provincial administration was based on two 

considerations; firstly its statutory 

con A trd Sd ri S ht of "superintendence, direction 

by the and control," and secondly "the 

Government of control over expenditure enforced 

India its extent. , , . , , . , . , 

by the various codes which resulted 

both from the system of divided heads of revenue and 
from the peculiar responsibility felt by the Central 
Government and the Secretary of State for 
economy in administration.' 11 Besides, the Central 
Government had previously a close interest in 
subjects like police and criminal justice for the 
purpose of discharging its responsibility for the 
security of India. There were certain other matters, 
affecting commerce and industry, in which uniformity 
being desirable the Government of India had 
exhibited its close concern. Moreover, the increasing 
interestedness of the people in the growth of 
education, sanitation and indigenous industries had 
often led the Supreme Government to lay down 
general principles, or issue definite instructions to 
the Local Governments for greater activity in these 
respects. The operation of one or other of these 
motives had before 1908 enhanced the interposition 
of the Supreme Government. It was greatly criticised 
before the Royal Commission on Decentralisation, 

1 Fourth Despatch on I, C* R. April 16, 1919, 
para. 5. 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 315 

and hope was expressed that the Provincial 
Governments would be released to a greater extent 
from the enmeshing control of the Government 
of India. 

The relaxation of financial control as a result 
of the recommendations of the Royal Commission 
on Decentralisation was expected to lessen 
appreciably the interference by the supreme authority 
particularly such as was due to the paucity of powers 
of financial sanction by the Local Governments. 
We have no reason to doubt that it was so. But 
the existing system had reached the limit of its 
possible development. No doubt, however, the 
extent and character of the exercise of such authority 
had altered, as is evident from the tone of the 
Resolutions issued after 1911. Resolutions directing 
the attention of the Local Governments to the 
specific measures of reform in sanitary administration, 
educational progress and local self-government 
formulated the policy of the government but left 
its execution to the discretion of the Provincial 
Governments. 1 These Resolutions of Lord 
Hardinge's government "certainly cannot be accused 
of Prussian rigidity and precision." 2 They were 
remarkable for the wide range of subjects discussed 
and for their comprehensive examination of the 
existing evils, and the requisite reforms, but their 

1 Resolutions 1913 and 1915 On Sanitation 23 May 

1912, On Local Self* 
Government 1915, and 
Education 1913, 

* I. C. R. para. 118. 

F. 40 



314 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

purpose was merely to point oat the directions in 
which the Local Governments should look for 
betterment. Local conditions and circumstances 
were to have full effect Uniformity of system and 
of progress were the main considerations in such 
instructions, an instance of which is afforded by 
those concerning excise or police administration. 

The Government of India's excise policy was 
criticised in the Parliament in 1914, on which the 
Secretary of State called for a report from the 
Governor General in Council. The latter explained 
the main features of the Indian excise system, 1 and 
then circularised the Local Governments so that 
"provincial excise administration may be conducted 
on uniform lines. 11 The Supreme Government 
"recognised that complete homogeneity is not 
possible, 1 ' but held that "uniformity of principle 
and coordination of effort are essential, 11 and 
hoped "by drawing attention to questions of general 
application and importance, to ensure that in the 
provincial administration of excise, the fundamental 
principles at stake shall not be overlooked." 
General measures to give effect to the policy of 
the government were sketched and the Local 
Governments were asked to bring them to the notice 
of the local officers. 2 Police administration also 
continued to be carefully supervised by the Supreme 

1 Letter to Secretary of State No. 12 (Excise) 
26 February 1914, 

8 Circular Letter to Local Governments No, 1766-1783- 
81 (Excise) 18 March 1914, 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 315 

Government. During Lord Hardinge's government 
resolutions were issued giving specific instructions 
as to the steps to be taken in the various provinces 
to bring home to the police that the merits of 
the investigating officers were not judged solely 
by the statistical results of the cases sent up by 
them for trial. Also in December 1913, definite 
orders were issued for the appointment of enquiry 
commissions on police officers when cases of 
serious misconduct came to be known. 1 Other 
precautions were also taken to guard against 
police misbehaviour. It is not, however, possible 
to show definitely how far this general control 
by the Government of India was exercised in 
excise, police and such other departments at 
that time ; but we may accept the statement in the 
report on the Indian Constitutional Reforms as 
representing the fact that as an effect of the 
responsibility to Parliament for good government 
and for "the maintenance of high standards of 
public and personal conduct," the Government 
of India was "constrained to control Local 
Governments closely in such matters." 2 

Owing to the political disturbances in some 
parts of the country, the Government of India was 
required to watch closely the course of events there 
and control the operations of the Local Governments 
to meet the situation. There was a suspicion that 

1 Summary of the Administration of Lord Hardioge 
p. 10. 

I, C. R. para. 119. 



316 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the movement had its ramifications throughout the 
country and was organised by a central authority. 1 
For its supression Lord Minto's government 
adopted various means which often required the 
sanction of the Secretary of State, as in the 
matter of the deportation of Mr. Bepin Chandra 
Pal or the enactment of the Press Law and 
anti-sedition laws. 2 In cases such as these it 
may be presumed that the Local Governments 
concerned had to follow the policy prescribed 
by the Supreme Governmeat. On this point 
Sir Bamfylde Fuller's resignation in 1906 is 
relevant. 8 Loid Minto considered it "all- important 
now that power should centre in the Viceroy and 
the Government of India. 114 It was inevitable, for 
the matter affected the very existence of the 
British Government in India and so could not be left 
entirely to the initiative and discretion of the Local 
Governments. Under Lord Hardinge also, when in 
February 1913, there was a recrudescence of 
"seditious activities" in Bengal, the Government of 
India called for the views of the Local Government 
on the whole situation, and in later communications 



1 Minto to Morley, May 13, 1908 ; India, Minto and 
Morley, p. 232. 

1 Minto to Morley, June 27, 1907 ; July 10, 1907 and 
other letters in "India, Minto and Morley" pp. 147-152. 

8 See Parliamentary Paper concerning the resignation 
of Sir B. Fuller, Lieutenant Governor of Eastern Bengal 
and Assam; India, Minto and Morley, pp. 52-57. 

* Minto to Morley, December 10, 1908. India, Minto 
and Morley, p. 259. 



ON THE BVB OP THE REFORMS 317 

"dwelt upon the various methods by which the 
administration could be strengthened." These 
included the better organisation of the police, the 
reinforcement of the Criminal Investigation 
Department, and the better control of schools etc. 
Also the Supreme Government laid great ' 'stress on 
the need of thorough enquiry into the conditions 
which had produced the existing state of affairs." 1 
Ultimately the Government of Bengal, under strong 
pressure from the Government of India, appointed a 
Committee for the purpose. During the War, the 
Supreme Government, of course, kept itself fully 
informed of what happened in the provinces. The 
preservation of law and order had become in these 
strenuous days essentially a matter for its close 
consideration. 

In respect of land revenue policy, too, the 
Government of India had for political reasons 
interfered with the Local Governments to secure 
their adherence to its policy, which remained 
generally the same as laid down by Lord Curzon's 
government in 1902. In Lord Minto's time 
measures were proposed for the introduction of more 
elasticity into the system of assessments and the 
grant of reduction of revenue when irrigation works 
fell out of use. The Local Governments were 
asked to revise their rules in the light of the 
principles laid down in the Resolution of 1906. 
Also instructions were issued for the revision of the 

1 Summary of the Administration of Lord Hardinge 
p. 16-18 



318 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

rales relating to enhancement of revenue at 
resettlemehts, and the Punjab Government was 
required to follow the orders of the Government of 
India about the assessment of the Delhi district. 
The principle of long term settlements was reaffirmed, 
and in Burma it was fixed at 20 years. So also 
were principles prescribed respecting suspensions 
and remissions of land revenue in times of calamity, 
and the Government of the United Provinces, which 
did not accept them first, finally concurred. 1 In 
1911, however, the Local Governments of the 
larger provinces (Madras and Bombay possessed 
these powers before) were given authority to 
undertake resettlements when an enhancement of 
not more than 33 per cent was anticipated and to 
confirm the settlements. But as the government 
of Lord Hardinge was busy developing the policy 
of moderation in land revenue assessments, on 
several occasions it made suitable modifications in 
the proposals of the Local Governments in regard 
to resettlements which were inconsistent with the 
declared policy. 2 

Nevertheless, the tendency at the time was in 
the direction of decentralisation. "The principle 
of devolution and its spirit was embodied in 
the orders" of the period. 8 There was steady 

1 Summary of Measures in Revenue Department under 
Lord Minto, pp. 30-37. 

* Summary of the Administration of Lord Hardinge 
p. 54. 

8 Ibid, para. 118. 



ON THE EVE OF .THE REFORMS 319 

enhancement of the authority of the Local 
Governments. For instance, they were authorised 
to select their Sanitary Commissioners, though 
within certain limitations, 1 were competent to frame 
rules for the recruitment of the provincial service,* 
and were empowered to make certain appointments 
to reserved posts from the cadre of the Provincial 
Civil Service. 8 The same spirit manifested itself 
in the Indian enactments of the period. The 
authority of the Local Governments was enhanced 
by repealing the words "with the previous sanction 
of the Governor General in Council" from various 
earlier Acts and by giving either absolute powers 
to the Local Governments or substituting the words 
"subject to the general control" instead. For 
example, the amendments in 1911 and 1912 
or later to the Indian Factories Act (No. XV 
1911), the Bengal, North- Western Provinces and 
Assam Civil Courts Act (No. XVI of 1911), the Local 
Authorities Loans Act (No, X of 1912,) the Births, 



1 Resolution, Department of Education, 23 May 1912. 

2 Resolution H. D. (Establishment) Nos. 1046-1058, 
19 August 1910. Public Service Commission Report, 
1916, pp 188-9, 

8 Notification No. 1128 dated 26 August 1910. Also 
e.g. Notification No. 1241 of 9 September 1910 authorising 
the Government of Eastern Bengal and Assam to appoint 
Subordinate Judge to be Assistant Sessions Judge. Also 
notifications leaving certain Judgeships in each province 
to be filled by the Local Government from among the 
provincial service officers. H. D. Resolution Nos, 481- 
488c. dated 19 December 1913 and also Resolution 
Nos. 1673-1675 dated 27 December 1915, 



320 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Deaths and Marriages Act (No. IX of 1911) and the 
Indian Ports Act (No. VI of 1916) were definitely 
intended to enlarge the powers of the Local 
Governments. Also some of the Inspector 
Generalships as those of the Veterinary and 
Agriculture Departments which had led to indirect 
control of these provincial departments, were 
abolished 

The Provincial Governments had the 
management of the provincialised services as well 
as of those which were Imperial. In the latter 
they acted merely as agents of the Central 
Government and their powers of sanction were 
closely limited. In the case f however, of the 
divided and the wholly provincial subjects their 
authority was fairly wide, but, as mentioned before, 
was restricted by the statutory or legal inhibitions, 
by financial regulations or by executive orders. An 
idea of the extent of these checks may be had from 
the list appended to the Madras Government letter 
of 31 December 1918 on the reform proposals. 1 A 
convention seems to have developed that beyond 
enunciating the general policy the Government of 
India would exercise minimum control over such 
services as education, local self-government, local 
public works, agriculture or sanitation. But in 
addition to retaining full control of the customs, 
post office and telegraphs, railways and defence 
services which were wholly Imperial,' the Government 



1 Despatch of the Government of India 5 March 1919, 
Enclosure 18 to No, 1 Appendix II 



ON THB EVE OF THB REFORMS 321 

of India maintained closer supervision on police, 
jails, excise, irrigation works, and law and order 
generally throughout the country. 

In the legislative sphere control by the 

Government of India underwent no remarkable 

change. The constitution of the 

Extent of the new Legislative Councils under 
Legislative 

functions of t " e Mmto-Morley scheme was not 

the Local materially different from the older 

Governments ones for in the ory they were still 

and the control m f 

exercised by the mere adjuncts of the executive 

Central government. "The conception of 
Government. & responsible executive, wholly or 

partially amenable to the elected councils, was not 
admitted. Power remained with the government and 
the Legislative Councils were left with no functions 
but criticism. The bonds of official authority which 
subjected Local Governments to the Government of 
India and the latter to the Secretary of State and 
Parliament" remained unaffected. 1 Therefore the 
control over local legislation which the Government 
of India exercised by means of "executive directions" 
remained unabated. All bills even those of private 
members were submitted to the Secretary of State 
and the Government of India. The Secretary of 
State ruled that private bills affecting revenue should 
be submitted to him for consideration. 2 There was 
no alteration in those provisions of the Government of 



I. C. R. para. 81 
I. C. R, para. 116 
F, 41 



322 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

India Act which restricted the provincial councils 9 
sphere of legislation. 

The practice of reviewing and examining the 
projects of local legislation in the Legislative 
Department of the Government of India persisted. 
Generally, local bills came before it when permission 
for introduction was sought, when important 
amendments were made during the passage of the 
bill, and lastly when it was sent for the assent of the 
Governor General. The bills were examined in their 
different bearings as previously. This class of work 
had increased in the time of Lord Hardinge because 
new local legislatures were created and all became 
more active when they contained more non-official 
members. 1 Also, owing to their executive 
subordination the legislative policy of the Local 
Governments was determined by the higher 
authorities. They were also controlled by the 
Central Government in their attitude towards the 
non-official resolutions. When the Bombay 
Government had in opposition to the wishes of the 
Government of India accepted a non-official resolution 
in 1910,* the Secretary of State ruled that the 
Local Governments must uphold the decision of the 
Government of India in their Legislative Councils. 

To the existing Legislative Councils three more 
were added in Behar, Assam and the Central 
Provinces. With the establishment of these 

1 Summary of the Administration of Lord Hardinge, 
p. 72. 

* I. C. R. para. 90. 



ON THE EVE OP THE REFORMS 323 

councils, every major province secured the machinery 
to legislate for provincial needs in matters which 
were legally within the competence of the local 
Legislative Councils. The Government of India 
generally did not legislate on such matters, though it 
retained concurrent legislative power. Thus the 
prevailing tendency was towards decentralisation and 
much had been done to emancipate the Local 
Governments from the control by the Government of 
India. The interference of the latter in provincial 
affairs was now neither so minute nor so comprehensive 
as in the earlier periods. But it will be a mistake to 
suppose that the Local Governments had become free 
or responsible. The only change was in the degree 
of the superior control not in its character. 

The Minto-Morley reforms had introduced no 
fundamental alteration in the constitution. 
Parliament did not relinquish its control in any respect 
over the government in India. The responsibility 
of the executive to the legislature was not 
contemplated. The Local Governments as well as 
the Government of India were accountable to the 
Secretary of State, who exercised his authority 
through the Governor General in Council. It was 
therefore impossible that there should be relaxation 
of control by the Government of India over the Local 
Governments. And because there was no devolution 
of authority, the sphere of the local Legislative 
Councils' effectiveness was limited. The legislature 
could not mould the policy of the Local Government 
as the latter was subject to the orders of the superior 
executive bodies. Hence the hopes of the electe 



324 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

members of the Legislative Councils that they "would 
have all the opportunity that they needed of 
influencing the course of provincial business" were not 
realised. The expectation that the reforms would 
silence political agitation did not fructify. The public 
feeling for responsible government and further 
constitutional advance became crystallised. 
Dissatisfaction at their failure, led the members of 
the Legislative Councils to indulge in sharp criticism 
of the government. The Local Governments, too, 
were not content with their position. They did not 
possess the power either of taxing or of borrowing. 
They could not put into operation the policy pressed 
by their Legislative Councils, both because of lack of 
resources and the necessity of securing acceptance 
of the higher authorities. They felt a growing 
estrangement between themselves and the elected 
members. It was clear, therefore, that the existing 
control by the Government of India was fruitful 
of mischief, and conflicted with popular aspirations. 

The Provincial Governments, therefore, were not 
satisfied with the existing position, and such of 

them as could visualise the trend of 
Dissatisfaction , , , ,. j , . r ,, 

of the Local events clearly realised that further 

Governments decentralisation was the chief 
with the existing solution. Lord Sydenham (Governor 
sys e ' of Bombay) considered that the 

presence of a majority of non-officials in the 
local Legislative Council had "effected a 
radical change in its constitution," giving to the 
Bombay Government the assistance of a 
representative council in "successfully administering 



ON THB EVE OP THE REFORMS 323 

its own finances," hence "all checks and restrictibng 
which are not absolutely essential to the maintenance 
of the general control of the Imperial Government" 
should be removed from the financial authority of 
the Local Government. Otherwise he felt that the 
usefulness of the Legislative Council Would be 
marred. 1 He was of opinion that the Legislative 
Council "is now quite fit to assume a larger 
responsibility" which ought to "be conferred upon it" 
so that it should "become a real power" in helping 
the progress of the province. 2 Extension of popular 
control, in the opinion of some, necessarily implied a 
"radical reduction of the Government of India's and 
the Secretary of State's powers and practice of 
interference." 8 This could not come about merely 
by "the relaxation of a rule here or the extension 
of a limit there, but by the achievement of a 
complete change of view regarding the powers of 
Provincial Governments." The Government of 
Madras pleaded for the abandonment of "the 
traditional policy" of distrust of the Provincial 
Governments, that they "must be hedged round with 
a net-work of rules and restrictions to prevent their 
going astray" 4 At the same time they regarded 
the financial rules of 1916 as restricting their powers 

l Speech by Mr. Quin in the Imperial Council. Budget 
Debate 1911-12. 

3 Lord Sydenham's Speech in Bombay Legislative 
Council. 17 March 1913. 

Madras Government letter No. 948 of 19 October 
1918 (Enclosure to First Despatch 1919). 

* Ibid. para. 27 



326 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

and depriving them "of all real independence." The 
Government of Madras thought them objectionable, 
unreasonable and opposed to the "general principle 
that the Central Government should confine itself to 
laying down a general policy and should not interfere 
in matters of detail." 1 Every Local Government 
looked with disfavour on the financial checks as these 
paralysed their initiative, led to great delays and 
consequently to the "slow progress of the country." 
Objection was taken to the absence of the power of 
taxation and borrowing, the provision of which the 
Government of Bombay considered essential for the 
development of the province.* The more advanced 
of the Local Governments favoured a complete 
separation of revenue sources and a definite 
demarcation of the provincial subjects which they 
would be free to administer without interference from 
the Supreme Government. 

Indian opinion, too, was not satisfied with the 

changes introduced before 1912. The expectations 

aroused by the Minto-Morley 

Contemporary re f O rms soon proved to be illusary. 
Indian public,-... . f . _ 

opinion. The J oint authors of the Report on 

the Indian Constitutional Reforms 
have analysed the causes of this feeling. 8 
Constitutional development had not kept pace with 
the advance of political ideas and national aspirations. 



1 Madras Government letter No. 1145, 31 December 
1918 para. 13-17. 

* Speech by Mr. Quin 1911, also Bombay Government 
letter No 9745, 11 November 1918. 

8 I. C. R. para. 99-100. 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 327 

The result was a growing discontent. Since 1905, 
the Indian National Congress had adopted the 
attainment of self-government as the goal of national 
efforts. Though an exact definition of this phrase 
was not attempted, yet it was generally considered 
to include the establishment of a responsible 
parliamentary government in the provinces and 
at the centre, with a larger infusion of Indian 
element in the administration of the country. It 
implied that "the people of India should be allowed 
a larger voice in the administration and control of 
the affairs of their country," 2 "Expansion of 
Legislative Councils, effective representation, and 
larger control over financial and executive 
administration," 8 was what it demanded. The new 
Indian Councils Act did not smooth the progress 
towards that end, and thus failed to evoke the 
enthusiasm of political India for any length of time. 
Simultaneously, fresh forces, both external and 
internal, were working to aggravate discontent. 
The extremist party which had been eclipsed for 
the time being, emerged again. Thus when the 

1 Resolutions of the Indian National Congress 1905 
onwards. Also Report of the Sub-Committee appointed by 
the Madras Provincial Congress Committee to consider a 
scheme of self-government, 15 August 1915. This 
Committee and Mr. S. Srinivas lyengar who appended 
a note to the Report defined the demands of non-official 
India. It wanted responsibility of ministers to the 
representative assembly, and also control over purse etc. 

' Resolution No* 4 Indian National Congress 1905. 
8 Resolution No. 9, Indian National Congress Calcutta 
1906. 



328 ORIGINS'OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

"national consciousness and desire for political power 
were growing rapidly in the minds of the educated 
Indians/' the limited opportunities provided by 
the new Legislative Councils failed to satisfy the 
advanced opinion . in the country. More rapid 
progress in the transference of power from the hands 
of the bureaucracy to the representatives of the 
people was demanded. 

When feelings were thus greatly ruffled, Lord 

Hardinge's government sent a despatch to the 

Secretary of State outlining the 

Lord Hardinge's measures which should be adopted 
Despatch of 25 , ,. . . . A 

August 1911 to assua e Public opinion. 1 Among 

other proposals, the Government 
of India suggested the removal of the capital from 
Calcutta to Delhi, and in that connection wrote the 
following : "The maintenance of British rule in 
India depends on the ultimate supremacy of the 
Governor General in Council, and the Indian 
Councils Act of 1909 itself bears testimony to 
the impossibility of allowing matters of vital 
concern to be decided by a majority of non-official 
votes in the Imperial Legislative Council. 
Nevertheless, it is certain that, in the course of time, 
the just demands of Indians for a larger share in 
the government of the country will have to be 
satisfied, and the question will be how this 
devolution of power can be conceded without 
impairing the supreme authority of the Governor 



1 Despatch dated 25 August 1911 (published in the 
Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 12 December 1911). 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 329 

General in Council. The only possible solution of 
the difficulty would appear to be gradually to give 
the provinces a larger measure of self-government, 
until at last India would consist of a number of 
administrations, autonomous in all provincial affairs, 
with the Government of India above them all, 
and possessing power to interfere in case of 
misgovernment, but ordinarily restricting their 
functions to Imperial concern." The chief 
recommendation of the Government of India was 
to undo the partition of Bengal by amalgamating 
the two Bengals but separating Behar and Orissa 
as a new province. There is no mention in this 
despatch of the suggestions of the Decentralisation 
Commission or of any desire to alter the 
Indian Councils Act in the immediate future. 
Therefore one is surprised at such a momentous 
declaration as contained in the words quoted above. 
It is absurd to suppose that it was casually made. 
Ostensibly the despatch was meant for publication. 
Its whole tenor is to pour oil on disturbed waters. 
Hence it may be supposed that these words were 
intended to point out the direction in which the 
aspiration of political India could look for fruition. 
The interpretation of the passage is quite plain. 
It denotes that the subordination of the central 
executive to the wishes of the non-official majority in 
the Imperial Legislative Council was impossible. But 
the satisfaction of the Indian demands "for a larger 
share in the government" could be provided for in 
the provincial sphere. Hence the gradual withdrawal 
of central control was suggested so that ultimately 



330 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the Provincial Governments might be free to manage 
the provincial affairs ordinarily without interference 
from the Government of India. Apparently the 
establishment of self-governing provincial adminis- 
trations "autonomous in all provincial affairs" pointed 
to the transference of power partially from the 
Supreme Government to the people. 

The Indian opinion at once rallied round the 
phrase "Provincial Autonomy" and saw in it the 
fulfilment of its aspirations. But soon Lord Crewe 
shattered these happy dreams by declaring that the 
statement referred merely to further decentralisation 
of control from the Government of India to the 
Provincial Governments without in any way intending 
to subordinate the latter to popular control. 
Nevertheless, Indian political bodies stuck to their 
guns and made "Provincial Autonomy" their 
immediate objective. 

Sentiment and logic both played their part in 
such an interpretation of the statement. It was 
contended that a despatch conferring "boons" at 
the time of the visit of the King Emperor could 
not but denote the direction of British policy in 
India, and so any petty explanation was incompatible 
with the magnitude of the occasion, 1 It was 
argued that mere financial decentralisation by 
abolishing a few rules constricting the authority of 
the Local Governments could not have been the 
intention of the Government of India, for the past 

1 Proceedings Indian National Congress 1912. Mr. S. N. 
Banerji's speech p. 88. 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 331 

development on that line did not result in the 
freedom of the Provincial Governments. 1 The 
soundest and weightiest argument advanced by the 
Indian politicians was that devolution of powers to 
the irresponsible provincial executives "would not 
only be anomalous but hazardous and out of tune 
with the spirit of the new constitution;"* for the 
divestment of the Supreme Government's control 
would result in the "establishment of decentralised 
autocracy in the land."* The non-official opinion 
had never made a secret of its dread for decentrali- 
sation of powers to the Provincial Governments 
without corresponding control being placed in their 
Legislative Councils. Therefore Indian politicians 
concluded from the words and their context in 
the despatch that by autonomous provinces the 
Government of India implied devolution of control 
in provincial affairs from the Supreme Government 
to representative bodies. 

Apart from the immediate confirmation by 
Mr. Montagu in his Cambridge speech 4 , and from 



1 Proceedigs Indian National Congress 1912. Mr. S. J. 
Roy p, 93. 

2 Pro : Indian National Congress 1912. Mr. R. N. 
Mudholker's Presidential Address p. 18. 

8 Pro : Indian National Congress 1912. Mr. S. J. Roy's 
speech p. 93, 

4 Mr. Mantagu's speech in the Guildhall, Cambridge, 
28 February 1912. After quoting the words of the despatch 
he remarked "We cannot drift on for ever without stating 
a policy. .....At last, and not too soon, a Viceroy has had 

the courage to state the trend of British policy in India and 
the lines on which we propose to advance." (The Rt. 
Hon'ble Mr. E. S. Man tag u on Indian Affairs, p. 309). 



332 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the later trend of political progress in India, the 
correctness of the popular interpretation is proved by 
the frequent statements made by the Government of 
India earlier, that the Provincial Government could 
not be liberated from superior control in the absence 
of its responsibility to an electorate in the province. 
It is inconceivable, therefore, that at a time when 
from all sides importunate demands for the establish- 
ment of responsible self-government of the Colonial 
type were being made, the Government of India 
should hold out merely the ideal of "official Provincial 
Autonomy" as the goal of Indian constitutional 
progress. If the despatch was an indication of future 
policy, the base on which the reform scheme of 
1919 was built, no different meaning would be 
warranted but that the constitutional advance must 
commence in the sphere of provincial administration. 
The despatch, therefore, was but the next step 
forward on Lord Ripon's Resolution on local self- 
government, for whereas the latter envisaged the 
establishment of popular control over local bodies 
(local board and municipalities), the former aimed 
at its extension to provincial administration. 

Though Babu Surendra Nath Banerji had 
said in 1908 that "the beginnings of provincial 
autonomy are thus laid broad 
N o n-o ffi c i a 1 an( j deep" when a non-official 
proposals; . .. , i_i i_ j i 

Provincial ma J orlt y was established in the 

Autonomy. provincial Legislative Council, the 
Indian opinion did not express 
itself keenly on it before 191 1. 1 The statement 
1 .Proceedings Indian National Congress 1908. p. 49. 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 333 

in the despatch and the controversy raging 
over it afforded a concrete political programme 
to the Indian National Congress and other bodies. 
Political literature henceforth is full of references 
to "Provincial Autonomy." The different aspects of 
the desired development were being discussed. 
Whatever might have been the intention of Lord 
Hardinge's government, public opinion at least 
adopted "Provincial Autonomy" as its chief slogan 
and thus gave a definite mould to national aspirations. 
It seems strange, however, that at a time when 
political and social movements were aiming at 
national unity, and also when a greater solidarity 
had developed, this apparently centrifugal programme 
should have held the public mind. This anomaly 
is explained by Mr. A. Rangaswamy lyengar in 
one of his political pamphlets by arguing that "vivid 
local life of the province is as essential for healthy 
political development as "the larger organic life of 
the nation"; and because the former is cramped in 
India by too close a union or over-centralisation, 
therefore devolution is a necessary preliminary step 
to the "achievement of national ideals." This 
devolution must be limited to certain things so 
that the national unity might not be undone. 1 A 
federation of autonomous provincial states had beeq 
long before the public view and had always appealed 
to it. Naturally, at this time when schemes of 
self-government were being discussed, the federal 

1 A. Rangaswamy lyengar ; Provincial Autonomy. 
1916. pp. 2-4, 



334 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

idea should come to prominence. The ideal 
of Mr. Mazaharul Haque was "the federated 
states of India under the aegis of British 
rule. 111 But generally the ideas are vague, for 
the limitations of the existing situation did not 
allow a bold approach to the subject. 

It has been mentioned before that the Minto- 
Morley reforms failed to satisfy political India. Mr. 
Wacha, speaking in 1915 said that they were "so 
exceedingly defective and hardly in harmony with 
the growing popular sentiment and wishes that it is 
inevitable that sooner or later the defects which 
presently accompany them will have to be removed." 2 
The causes of this dissatisfaction were the 
ineffectiveness of the Legislative Councils to control 
administration, and the centralised system of 
government. 8 The latter was supposed to have a 

"chilling, nay petrifying effect on the economic 

welfare of the people." The decentralisation of 
finances did not go far enough to be satisfactory, 
and the utility of the provincial Legislative 
Councils was marred by the control exercised 
by the supreme executive government, in no way 
responsible to of influenced by representative 
councils. Dissatisfaction was aggravated by the 
new War-days ideas of self-determination and liberty 
of all peoples. The educated classes were seriously 
agitated and cherished hopes of a better system at 

1 Proceedings Indian National Congress 1912. p. 7 
8 Proceedings Indian National Congress 1915. p. 9 
8 lyengar : Provincial Autonomy, p. 1. 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 335 

the end of the War. The political organisations set 
to the task of formulating agreed schemes which 
could be presented to the rulers for immediate 
adoption. Many such proposals were framed, but 
the most important and perhaps u the most complete, 
and most authoritative presentation of the claims 
of the leading Indian political organisations" 
was the Congress-League scheme of 1916. Other 
proposals either followed the general arrangement 
of this scheme or were very much similar 
to it. 

The fundamental idea of the Congress-League 
scheme was that the "voice of the duly elected 

representatives of the people should 

The Congress- prevail both in the Indian and 

League Scheme j n the provincial Legislative 

Councils 1 ' so as to secure to these 
legislatures "complete freedom of legislation," full 
control of the finances of the country and "the 
power of controlling the executive." It aimed at 
"Provincial Autonomy' 1 accompanied by the 
liberalisation of the Government of India, for it was 
feared that the "experiment of provincial autonomy 
cannot be conducted under favourable conditions, 

if the proceedings of a democratic body were to 

be reviewed by an unreformed Government of 
India. 1 * 1 The scheme provided among others for 
a provincial Legislative Council which "should 
have full authority to deal with all matters affecting 

1 V. S. Srinivasa Sastri : The Congress-League 
Scheme, An Exposition. 1917. 



336 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the internal administration of the province, including 
the power to raise loans, to impose and alter 
taxation, and to vote on the budget." The 
Provincial Government was to consist of an 
irremovable executive of which at least half were 
to be Indians "elected by the elected members of 
the provincial Legislative Council." A complete 
separation of the sources of revenue was suggested 
according to which the Government of India 
should have "customs, post, telegraph, mint, salt, 
opium, railways and tributes from Indian States, 11 
and the Provincial Governments the rest. The 
deficit in expenditure of the Supreme Government 
was to be met out of the fixed contributions made 
by the Provincial Governments. The Supreme 
Government was to administer the above subjects 
and the army and navy and foreign and political 
matters. Also while not ordinarily interfering in the 
local affairs of the province, the Government of 
India would have the authority of "general 
supervision and superintendence over the Provincial 
Governments." 1 

So far, therefore, as the relations of the Local 
Governments with the Central Government are 
concerned, the Congress-League scheme adopted 
the earlier suggestions (of Mr. Gokhale and others) 
of the separation of provincial finances and the 
decentralisation of legislative and administrative 
control by the Supreme Government. Before this 



1 Congress-League scheme 1916 (Parl. Papers 1918 
Vol. 18, pp. 573-5. 



ON THE EVE OF THE REFORMS 337 

scheme had been discussed, Mr. Gokhale had written 
a memorandum suggesting the line which the 
post-war reforms should take. He desired the grant 
of provincial autonomy which should "involve the 
two-fold operation of freeing the Provincial 
Governments, on the one side, from the greater 
part of the control which is at present exercised over 
them by the Government of India and the Secretary 
of State, in connection with the internal administration 
of the country, and substituting, on the other, in 
place of the control so removed, the control of the 
representatives of taxpayers through provincial 
Legislative Councils." 1 In other respects it was 
akin to the Congress-League scheme. The 
memorandum submitted by the nineteen members 
of the Imperial Legislative Council was also similar, 
and these two may be said to be the precursors of 
the Congress- League scheme. All these proposed 
to allot the sphere of provincial activities and retain 
the residuary powers with the Supreme Government, 
both because of maintaining national unity and of 
preserving the responsibility of the Government of 
India to the Parliament. 

By the end of the War, there had been a great 

political awakening in the country and the people 

expected an advance towards 

A fundamental "Colonial Self-Government." Trans- 
change m the r f r . ~ . , 
outlook necessary ference of power from the officials 

to the elected representatives of 

1 Mr. Gokhale's Memorandum (E. I. Constitutional 
Reforms, Par). Paper Cmd. 9178., J918 Vol. 18. pp. 575-77). 

F. 43 



338 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the people was demanded, at least in provincial 
administration, for the impracticability of securing it 
in the Central Government was evident to all. The 
popularisation of the Provincial Governments 
necessarily implied greater decentralisation or 
devolution of control from the Supreme Government 
to the Provincial Governments, for the revision of 
the acts of a responsible Local Government by 
a bureaucratic body would be anomalous. The 
situation, in fact, had altered. Whereas in the earlier 
stages decentralisation was desired, by the official 
Provincial Governments for administrative 
convenience, it was now required for purposes of 
constitutional development. With the coining of the 
popular element to the front, the problem was no 
longer one for administrative arrangement, but 
required a fundamental change in the character of 
government. 



CHAPTER VIII 

POSITION UNDER THE GOVERNMENT 
OF INDIA ACT OF 1919. 

The Indian constitution heretofore had grown 
in a more or less haphazard manner. 1 The changes 
in the structure of government were, at best, mere 
makeshifts designed to secure administrative 
convenience. The goal of British rule in India 
had not been enunciated before 20th August 1917 
when the Secretary of State for India, perhaps 
in response to the demand of political India, 
and after prolonged communications with the 
government of Lord Chelmsford, made the 
following announcement : 

"The policy of His Majesty's Government 

is that of increasing association of Indians in every 
branch of the administration and the gradual 
development of self-governing institutions with a 
view to the progressive realisation of responsible 
government in India as an integral part of the 
British Empire. They have decided that substantial 
steps in this direction should be taken as soon 

as possible I would add that progress in this 

policy can only be achieved by successive stages...."* 

It was a "momentous utterance," which pledged 



1 Sir Frederick Whyte : India a Federation ? p. 303. 

8 I. C. R. para 6. 

339 



340 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the British Government to the introduction of 
responsible government in this country. It marked 
truly the "end of one epoch, and the beginning of a 
new one." 1 For the purpose of giving effect to 
the intentions of His Majesty's Government, 
Mr. Montagu, the Secretary of State for India, came 
here to confer with the Government of India and 
the Local Governments, and to "receive... ...the 

suggestions of representative bodies and others." 

The addresses which were presented to the 
Secretary of State by the non-official bodies contained 
"a general demand for provincial autonomy," though 
comparatively few of them discussed in "detail the 
apportionment of powers between the provinces and 
the Government of India." 2 The Congress-League 
scheme was the basis of these suggestions. The 
creation of "self-governing provinces organised and 
coordinated by one central government" was 
recommended as the ultimate goal in India. 8 For 
this purpose proposals were made advocating the 
largest measure of independence for the Provincial 
Governments from the control of the Government 
of India and the Secretary of State. Also that the 
provincial administration should rest on a wide 
popular basis, which implied substitution of the 
control by the provincial Legislative Councils for 

1 I. C. R. para 7. 

a E. I. Constitutional Reforms. Addresses presented 
to the Viceroy and the Secretary of State (P. P. Cd. 9178, 
1918. Vol. 18. p. 473). 

Ibid. p. 477. 



POSITION UNDER THB ACT OP 1919 341 

superior official control. There was more or less 
a universal demand on the part of advanced opinion 
in India for responsible government also. 

The problem before the Secretary of State and 
the Viceroy was to devise a constitution which should 
reconcile the responsibility of the Parliament with 
the "progressive realisation of Responsible 
Government" in British India. The transference of 
control from Parliament to the representatives of the 
people could only be gradual, measured by the 
advance of political sense in the electorate. Also 
there were certain departments of government, "the 
integrity and efficiency of which are so vital to the 
British connexion, that in existing conditions they 
could not be submitted to popular control.' 11 As 
most of such services pertained to the Central 
Government in India, the hold of the British 
Parliament on the Government of India, in the 
earlier stages was inevitable. Moreover, the Indian 
electorate too could not be entrusted, in the days 
of its political infancy, with the determination of 
matters of high state, such as defence, fiscal policy, 
control of the British personnel of the all-India 
services, etc. Therefore the only field for trying the 
experiment of responsible government was in the 
provinces, and there too in such services merely as 
could, without prejudice to efficiency and public 
order, be entrusted to the care of the elected 
representatives of the people. It involved, therefore, 

1 The Duke Memorandum. Ch. Ill para 1. Curtis : 
Dyarchy p. 16. 



342 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

at the outset, transfer of "responsibility for certain 
functions of government" only while control over 
others was to be reserved to Parliament. Starting 
with these premises, the Secretary of State and 
the Viceroy in their joint Report laid down the 
following formula : 

"The provinces are the domain in which the 
earlier steps towards the progressive realisation of 
responsible government should be taken. Some 
measure of responsibility should be given at once 
and our aim is to give complete responsibility as soon 
as conditions permit. This involves at once giving 
the provinces the largest measure of independence, 
legislative, administrative and financial, of the 
Government of India which is compatible with 
the due discharge by the latter of its own 
responsibilities. 111 

Its adoption required the Parliament and the 
Secretary of State to relax their control over 
Provincial Government in proportion as the 
administration there was placed in the charge of 
responsible ministers. But as Provincial Governments, 
owing to their official character, were hitherto 
constitutionally subordinate to the Government 
of India and the Secretary of State, and as their 
discretion was very much limited, a devolution of 
power to them, as a preliminary stage, was essential. 
The main feature of the new scheme was this 
devolution of authority, which made the changes 

1 I. C. R. para 189, p. 93. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 1919 343 

introduced in 1919 so different from previous attempts 
at decentralisation. 

The joint Report aimed at the establishment of 
semi- autonomous Provincial Governments by effecting 
a wide measure of decentralisation and devolution. 
The gradual transfer of control from the Parliament 
to the legislatures in India was to be "effected by a 
process of dividing the sphere of government in the 
provinces between two authorities one amenable to 
Parliament" and the other to "an Indian electorate. 11 
By further decentralisation the discretion of the 
official government was to be enlarged, but from 
over the "responsible" half of the Provincial 
Government the control of the Parliament and its 
agent the Secretary of State was to be withdrawn by 
a scheme of devolution of powers. The emancipation 
of the Provincial Governments from superior official 
superintendence and control was provided for in so 
far only as they were made responsible to the 
provincial electorate. In this respect it was a 
departure from the earlier steps in decentralisation, 
for whereas before 1918 decentralisation was effected 
between the official governments, and as such was 
very much limited, the new scheme envisaged the 
creation of a government deriving its power from 
the people, and to that extent free from interference 
by the Government of India. 

The basic principle of the Report that the progress 
towards responsible government in India should 
commence by "giving to the provinces in provincial 
matters the largest measure of independence of the 
Government of India" was generally accepted* But 



344 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the system of dyarchy which was devised to carry 
it into effect did not meet with general approval. 
Indian extremist opinion demanded "a grant of full 
responsible government in the provinces at once." 1 
The moderate opinion accepted "the principle of 
dualism" but suggested many changes in details. 
They desired "complete provincial autonomy in 
respect of transferred subjects, the list of which 
should be as extensive as practicable. 2 The Provincial 
Governments, though conservative and cautious, 
favoured the relaxation of superior control. 8 The 
Madras Government desired "the achievement of a 
complete change of view regarding the powers 
of Provincial Governments." 4 But thfe Governor 
of Madras advocated a "wide and far-reaching 
measure of decentralisation" which should not 
depend "on the institution of a diarchic system of 
government/' 5 In consequence of the proposed 
extension of the principle of responsible government 
in the provinces, Lord Pentland suggested the 
withdrawal of the control by the Government of 
India and the Secretary of State from provincial 
administration to the farthest limit compatible with 
the security of the Indian Empire. Comprehensive 

1 Resolution of Delhi Indian National Congress 1918. 
8 First Despatch of the Government of India, 5th March 
1919, para 3, p. 588. 

3 Letters of the Provincial Governments. Enclosures lo 
Despatch of 5th March 1919. 

4 Letter from Madras, No. 948, 19th October 1918. 

* Letter from Madras, No. 1145 dated 31st Dec. 1918, 
paras 2 and 3. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 1919 345 

proposals embracing almost all aspects of provincial 
administration were made for the delegation of 
authority to the Local Government. 1 The Bombay 
Government also, while agreeing with the recom- 
mendations of the Report, suggested a statutory 
demarcation of the Imperial and provincial spheres, 
and wanted greater relaxation of control in 
administration by the Government of India. 2 The 
other governments agreed with para 212 of the 
Report, though the Government of Burma sounded a 
note of warning to the effect that provincial autonomy 
unless accompanied by the maintenance of the 
supremacy of the Government of India would result 
in disintegration of the Indian nation. 8 

The Government of India, on its part, favoured 
the recommendations of the Report in this behalf, 
and tried further by its suggestions to secure the 
practicability of the scheme. It admitted that in 
the past the Secretary of State and the Government 
of India had endeavoured to be the "financial 
conscience of the administration", and were inclined 
to greater interference with the provincial 
administration. But with the substitution of the 
scrutiny of the people's representatives, it proposed to 
withdraw from the existing position and afford greater 
independence to the Provincial Governments in 
financial matters. A wide delegation of powers to the 

1 Letter from Madras, No. 1145 dated 31st December 
1918 and appendices. 

* Letter from Bombay, No. 974S dated llth November 
1918. 

8 Letter from Burma dated 30th November 1918. 



346 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Local Governments was recommended. Further it 
agreed to the separation of revenues and the grant of 
enlarged powers of taxing and borrowing, though not 
without restrictions, to the Provincial Governments. 
The Government of India also defined the limits of 
its interference with the provincial administration, 
both Reserved' and 'transferred'. But in this case it 
desired to "retain unquestioned control" over the 
reserved subjects as long as "the governing power 
of Parliament must preserve its vitality". The 
proposals of the Government of India would have 
provided for the enlargement of the authority of the 
Provincial Governments by alterations in the 
Financial Codes and other regulations, irrespective 
of the institution of popular control through the 
elected Legislative Councils. It wished to carry the 
process of earlier decentralisation a step further, 
without subordinating effectively the provincial 
executive to the control of the legislature. 

The subordination of the Local Governments to 
the Central Government before 1918 had been 
strengthened by the fact that no statutory line 
between their respective functions had ever been 
drawn. The former were merely agents of the latter 
possessing delegated authority for the performance 
of certain acts of government. "The path to 
provincial independence therefore lay through a 
satisfactory division of functions and finances 
between the Central and Provincial Governments' 1 . 1 
For this purpose a Committee was appointed, 

Ambedkar p. 219. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 1919 347 

subsequent to the publication of the Report, which 
laid down the principles on which the division of 
functions was to be effected and prepared lists of 
the central and provincial subjects. In determining 
these the Function Committee accepted the dictum 
enunciated by the Government of India in its memo- 
randum that "where extra-provincial interests 
predominate the subject should be treated as central", 
and "on the other hand, all subjects in which the 
interests of the provinces essentially predominate 
should be provincial : and in respect of these the 
Provincial Governments will have acknowledged 
authority of their own." 1 

This classification was based upon earlier ad- 
ministrative practice and financial settlements which 
had led to the determination of certain functions as 
provincial in which the Government of India 
interested itself not primarily but in its capacity of 
a supervising and superintending authority. These 
were classified as provincial, the rest being considered 
as central subjects. Some functions were performed 
by the Provincial Governments as agents for the 
Supreme Government. The Committee distinguished 
the latter from essentialy provincial subjects and 
called them "agency functions". The Government 
of India could henceforth use the Provincial 
Governments for the discharge of these functions, but 
responsibility for them lay with it. It had also the 

1 Memorandum by the Government of India to the 
Functions Committee dated 29th November 1918. 
Atmexure II to the Report of thq Committee p. 72 (P. P. 
Cmd. 103 of 1919). 



348 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

discretion to withdraw these subjects from the Local 
Governments and undertake directly their per- 
formance. These may also for all practical purposes 
be styled central subjects. 

"Matters of provincial concern' 1 were thus to be 
separated and "the sphere of provincial activity was 
defined fairly clearly." 1 But the Government of 
India was not to be entirely deprived of its control 
over such subjects. The Government of India 
memorandum rightly pointed out the basic fact that 
both the Government of India and the Provincial 
Governments are subordinate governments and 
that the former is "responsible to the Imperial 
Government and Parliament for the administration 
of India," and "so long as that responsibility attaches 
to them, they must have the power to enforce it." 
This implied the exercise of control by the 
Government of India over provincial subjects unless 
they had been definitely placed outside the sphere of 
Parliamentary responsibility. The Committee there- 
fore took this fact into consideration in defining the 
limits of the Government of India's control over 
the Provincial Governments. The division of the 
provincial subjects between the "transferred" and the 
"reserved" had led the Government of India to 
suggest the restriction of the "Central Government's 
power to intervene" in transferred subjects for 
specific purposes only, but to leave untrammelled 



1 G. N. Singh. Landmarks of Indian Constitution 
and National Development, p. 563, 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 1919 349 

its control over the reserved subjects. 1 The 
Government of India held that "an official 
government which is not subject to popular control 
cannot properly be legally exempted from superior 
official control". It considered it "unwise to lay 
down any specific limitations upon their (Government 
of India's) legal powers of interference with Provincial 
Governments in reserved subjects." 2 

The Committee did not accept this position 
wholly, because of the change which would be 
introduced in the relations of the Governor in 
Council with his Legislative Council, and so desired 
an authoritative declaration to the effect that "the 
power of superintendence, direction and control over 
Local Governments vested in the Governor General 
in Council under the Government of India Act 1915, 
shall, in relation to provincial subjects be exercised 
with due regard to the purposes of the new Act as 
stated in the preamble." 8 The Committee did not 
specify the conditions in which such control should 
be exercised by the Government of India. 
Nevertheless, they showed a clear grasp of the 
situation by stating that the distinction between the 
transferred and reserved subjects "in respect of 
control exercised by the Government of India has an 
important bearing on the question of the actual 
definition of provincial subjects. As long as the 
Government of India continue to exercise in relation 

1 Memorandum, Paras 11-14. 

a Ibid, Para 14. 

8 Functions Committee Report, para 22, 



350 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

to a provincial subject the general control vested in 
them under the Government of India Act, without 
any restriction of the purposes for which that control 
may be exercised, the limitation of the provincial 
subjects by precise definition is not a matter of great 
practical importance ; but as soon as the control 
of the Government of India becomes a restricted 
control which can only be exercised for certain 
specific purposes, the question of definition acquires 
new importance and needs very careful examination," 1 
It was therefore the transfer of control from the 
Parliament to the Legislative Councils which 
necessitated this plan of division. The restriction of 
the Government of India's control over transferred 
subjects except for "certain statutory purposes" led 
to responsible government in some spheres of 
provincial administration. Yet the division of the 
subjects into provincial and central cannot be said to 
mark "the beginning of a federal system", as it did 
not affect the interposition of the Government of 
India in provincial administration, other than of the 
transferred subjects. 2 

The Government of India generally accepted the 
recommendations of the Committee, though not 
without suggesting various alterations in the lists of 
the subjects. 8 The Joint Select Committee of the 
Parliament also accepted the lists of central and 



1 Functions Committee Report, para 24. 
8 Fourth Despatch of the Government of India dated 
16th April 1919, para 7. 

8 Ibid. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 1919 351 

provincial subjects as amended by the India Office. 1 
These lists were incorporated with the Devolution 
Rules which defined the scope of the authority of the 
Provincial Governments and their relations with the 
Government of India. Remarking, however, on the 
extent of the control exercised by the Secretary of 
State over Local Governments, the Joint Select 
Committee added that "India is not yet ripe for a 
true federal system, and the Central Government 
cannot be relegated to functions of mere inspection 
and advice." Nevertheless they hoped that "there 
will be an extensive delegation, statutory and 
otherwise, to Provincial Governments of some powers 
and duties now in the hands of the Government of 
India ; and they trust also that the control of that 
government over provincial matters will be exercised 
with a view to preparing the provinces for the gradual 
transfer of power to the Provincial Government and 
legislature."* With regard to reserved subjects as well, 
the Joint Select Committee adopted the suggestion of 
the Functions Committee that "where the Provincial 
Government and legislature are in agreement, their 
view should ordinarily be allowed to prevail" 8 They 
recommended further that the control by the Governor 
General in Council over transferred subjects "should 
be restricted in future within the narrowest possible 
limits" which should be defined by rules under the 



1 Joint Select Committee Report Part I Clause 1. 

2 Joint Select Committee Report Part I Clause 3, 
* Ibid. Part III Clause 33. 



352 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

Act. 1 The Devolution Rules under clause 45 A of 
the Government of India Act 1919 embody the 
provisions relating to the powers of the Local 
Governments and the control to be exercised by the 
superior official authorities. 

The Government of India Act 1919 with its rules 
was based upon the scheme outlined in the Report 
on Indian Constitutional Reforms as amended by 
the Southborough Committee and the Joint Select 
Committee of the Parliament. The relationship 
between the Local Government and the Governor 
General in Council is defined by section 45 of the Act, 
and it does not materially differ from the earlier one. 
By the next section (45 A) power was taken "for the 
classification of subjects," and "for the devolution of 
authority in respect of provincial subjects to Local 
Governments." Administrative, financial and 
legislative powers were devolved on the Local 
Governments, the effect of which was to give the 
"Local Governments and Legislative Councils a 
degree of independence and of inherent powers 
in the provincial sphere." But this did not imply 
that the Local Governments have any juristic 
existence, or that they have authority over residuary 
subjects which have not been specifically classified 
as provincial, or that these provisions do by 
themselves "introduce into Provincial Governments 
any degree of responsible government"* The new 

1 Joint Select Committee Report, Part III Clause 33. 

8 Government of India Memorandum to Statutory 
Commission. Part I, p. 7, 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 19l9 353 

constitution by means of devolution achieved the 
realisation of the two aims of the authors of the 
report on Indian Constitutional Reforms, viz. "the 
immediate grant to provinces of a large measure of 
independence of the Government of India" j,nd 
"the provision of means whereby the Government 
of India could secure the due discharge of its own 
responsibilities. 11 Therefore such machinery was 
devised as might afford scope for effective 
"superintendence, direction and control" by the 
Secretary of State and the Governor General in 
Council while permitting the wishes of provincial 
Legislative Council to prevail in certain spheres of 
administration. Hence the interference of the 
Secretary of State and the Governor General in 
Council was limited "in the administration of 
transferred subjects to specific occasions only and 
to definite purposes but in reserved subjects the 
control by the Government of India was by law 
wholly unrestricted." 1 

The classification of functions provided for 
the following important services being declared 
provincial : local self-government, education 
(with certain exceptions), medical administration, 
sanitation and public health, public works, such as 
roads, buildings and light railways, agriculture, 
development of industries, excise, civil veterinary 
department, fisheries and co-operative societies, 
famine relief, land revenue administration, 
irrigation, forests, administration of justice, police, 

1 Government of India Memorandum 1928. Part I. p. 12* 



354 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

prisons, inspection of factories and labour question, 

registration, ports (except major ports) provincial 

borrowing, stationery and stores etc* etc. 1 As a 

result of delegation of authority in the past these 

subjects had come to be associated with the Local 

Governments, and their administration was again 

assigned to them. But now these were statutorily 

demarcated and the provincial legislature was 

given absolute control over the following from 

among them (known as transferred subjects) : 

local self-government, medical administration, 

public health and sanitation, education, public 

works, agriculture, civil veterinary department, 

fisheries, co-operative societies, forests (only in 

Bombay and Burma), excise, registration, industries 

stores and stationery etc.* The list of the 

provincial subjects is not so rigid as in federal 

constitutions, and the Governor General in Council 

is authorised to decide in case of doubt "whether a 

particular matter does or does not relate to a 

provincial subject." 8 Also the Local Governments 

are required to furnish to the Government of India 

"such returns and information on matters relating 

to the administration of provincial subjects as the 

Governor General in Council may require." 4 

No division of functions could have effectively 
freed Local Governments from the control of the 

1 Devolution Rules. Schedule I. Part II. 

2 Devolution Rules Schedule II. 
8 Devolution Rules Part I rule 4. 
* Jbid, rule 5. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OP 1919 355 

Government of India unless it was 
Powers of Local accompanied by a separation of 
FinsmcW. 611 * S ' financial resources between the two. 

In the period before 1918 we have 
seen the Government of India using the financial rod 
to beat the Provincial Governments into subordination. 
That was so owing to the absence of any statutory 
division of revenues, and the Government ,of India's 
responsibility for the financial solvency of the Indian 
Empire. Realising this defect, the joint authors 
wrote, "if provincial autonomy was to mean anything 
real, clearly the provinces must not be dependent on 
the Indian Government for the means of provincial 
development." Separate and independent sources of 
revenue (except income tax), therefore, were given to 
the Provincial Governments. These were constituted 
of the balance at the credit of the province at the 
time when the new Act came into force, a share in 
the growth of revenue derived from incometax, 
recoveries of loans and advances, payments made by 
the Government of India or other Local Governments 
for services rendered, proceeds from taxes imposed for 
provincial purposes, the allocated revenues and the 
receipts accruing in respect of provincial subjects. 1 
The separation was effected by eliminating the 
Divided heads 1 from the existing financial settlements 
and allocating definite heads of revenue respectively 
to the Local or the Central Government according 
as each fell within the list of provincial or central 



1 Devolution Rule 14. The last was substituted by 
Notification No, F. 447-3 dated 19 November 1924, 



3S6 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

subjects* Bat as the Central Government under this 
arrangement was faced with a heavy deficit it was 
provided that fixed contributions, to be decided upon 
by a Committee, should be made by the Local 
Governments to the Government of India. The 
Meston Committee finally settled the extent of 
contributions, and these became the first charge on 
the provincial revenues. In the event, the provincial 
contributions proved a heavy burden which 
handicapped the Local Governments in their efforts 
at development. The unequal incidence also crippled 
the Local Governments of the United Provinces and 
Madras, and so it is not surprising that a strong 
feeling was created against the system. The 
Committee, however, had recommended its 
discontinuance as soon as the Central Government 
was financially strong; and the Government of India 
remitted the contributions in 1927- 

Local Governments were at the same time given 
some powers of taxation and borrowing, a concession 
which they had long demanded in vain. "But both 
powers are subject to statutory restriction/ 11 Under 
Section 80 A of the Act, certain heads of taxation were 
scheduled and the local legislatures were empowered, 
without the previous sanction of the Governor 
General, "to make and take into consideration 
any law imposing, for the purpose of the Local 
Government any tax 19 included in these schedules. 8 
For taxes other than these the previous sanction of 

1 Government of India Memorandum Part I, p. 10. 
* Scheduled Taxes Rules, Notification No, 311. dated 
16th*December 1920, 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OP 1919 JS7 

the Governor General in Council was necessary. 1 The 
borrowing powers too were hedged round by conditions 
governing the purposes for which the loan might be 
taken, the amount of the loan and the rate of interest, 
and also by the provision that no loan could be raised 
without the sanction of the Governor General in 
Council or the Secretary of State if it was to be raised 
outside the country. 2 Further, the budget of the 
Provincial Government had been entirely separated 
from that of the Government of India and the Local 
Government was free with the concurrence of its 
legislature to allot its revenues to specific expenditure 



TAXES UNDER SCHEDULE I 

(1) A tax on land put to uses other than agriculture. 

(2) A tax on succession. 

(3) A tax on any form of betting or gambling permitted 

by law, 

(4) A tax on advertisements. 

(5) A tax on amusements. 

(6) A tax on any specified luxury. 

(7) A registration fee. 

(8) A stamp duty other than duties of which the amount 

is fixed by Indian legislation 

UNDER SCHEDULE II 

Toll tax or tax on land or land values, buildings, 
vehicles, animals, domestic servants, on trades and 
professions, private markets and on octroi. Also water 
rate, lighting rate etc. All these relate to local adminis- 
tration. 

1 Government of India Memorandum Part I, p. 10. 
8 Local Government Borrowing Rules. No. 309 S, 
dated I6tb December 1920. 



358 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

except in the cases which had been reserved by 
executive direction for the previous sanction of the 
Secretary of State. 1 The Act provided for the 
establishment of a Finance Department in each 
province which was to act as the financial conscience 
of the Local Government. 1 The functions of this 
department as laid down in the Devolution Rules 
show that it can allow reappropriations from one 
head to another within the grant voted by the Legis- 
lative Council. 8 The Local Government was also 
now made responsible for famine relief and capital 
expenditure incurred by the Government of India 
on irrigation works in the province and took over the 
Provincial Loan Account. 4 

1 Government of India Memorandum. Part I pp. 10-11. 
Reserved Subjects : 

(a) Creation of posts, or their abolition, belonging 

to the all-India services. 

(b) Creation of permanent posts with a salary 

exceeding Rs. 1200 p. m. 

(c) Temporary posts with a salary exceeding 

Rs. 4000 p. m. 

(d) Granting of pensions, annuities etc. to deceased 
servants of Government. 

(e) Incurring expenditure upon public works affecting 

the interests of more than one province. 

(/) The revision of a permanent establishment costing 
five lacs of rupees a year. 

8 Section 45 A and the Devolution Rules Part III 
Rules 36-38. 

Ibid, Rule 38. 

4 Government of India Memorandum. Part I, p. 10, 
Devolution Rule 24. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OP 1919 359 

The Governor General in Council, nevertheless, 
was still the custodian of the public moneys, the 
provincial income being credited to their separate 
accounts. Resource continued to be a central subject 
but the Local Governments "have a free hand in the 
expenditure of their funds." 1 They were at liberty 
to draw upon their balances, though the Governor 
General in Council retained a power in times of 
emergency to require a Local Government, if 
necessary/ 'so to regulate its programme of expenditure 
as not to reduce the balance at its credit below a 
stated figure, and shall have power to take 
necessary steps by the restriction of issues of 
moneys to secure this end." 2 

The abolition of the divided heads, the liberty 
of appropriations, the freedom to use the balances, 
and the power, though limited, of taxing and 
borrowing have set the Local Governments on the 
path of financial autonomy. A great step was 
taken in the process of gradual withdrawal of the 
Government of India from its position of a banker 
and "financial conscience" examining provincial 
expenditure "from the point of view of economy, of 
financial 'propriety and of the interest of the tax 
payer, for now the Legislative Council was 
empowered to g.ct as the watchdog of provincial 
administration. 8 The Government of India ceased 

1 Devolution Rule 16. 
* Ibid 21. 

8 First Despatch of the Government of India, 5 March 
1919, p. 57. 



36ft ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

to be the "residuary legatee" of whatever the 
provinces collect. Also the Secretary of State 
delegated largely his financial power of control by 
altering the financial codes and standing orders. 
The Fundamental Rules laid down broad regulations 
and left the details, regarding allowances etc., to 
be administered according to the rules made there- 
under by the Local Governments. 

Notwithstanding this relaxation of superior 
control, the Government of India could not 
altogether resign its responsibility for the solvency 
of the provinces. The altered situation and the 
reorientation of its controlling authority were expressed 
by the Government of India in the following words: 
"We also recognise that we are answerable for it 
that a province does not become insolvent or 
unpunctual in paying its debts. These duties rest 
upon us so long as we are responsible to Parliament 
for the good administration of India. We conceive, 
however, that with the grant of this new financial 
liberty to the provinces, we shall no longer be required 
to watch their financial proceedings in detail, or to 
enforce from day to day measures which may seem 
to us necessary to correct financial error. Our 
intervention in future will take the form mainly of 
advice and caution ; though we cannot ignore the 
ultimate call that may be made upon us in extremities 
to issue definite orders which a province must obey if 
it wishes to retain its constitution/' 1 The separation 
of resources altered the character of the relationship 
between the Central and Provincial Governments. 

1 First Despatch, 5 March 1919, Para 58. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OP 1919 361 

The revenues of India vest in the Crown and so 
the Act laid down that their expenditure of such 
revenues "shall be subject to the control of the 
Secretary of State in Council. 111 Devolution rule 27 (I) 
forbad the Local Government to include, "without 
the previous sanction of the Secretary of State in 
Council or by the Governor General in Council as the 
case may be, any proposal for expenditure on a 
transferred subject in a demand < r >r a grant, if 
such sanction is required by the provisions of 
Schedule III to these rules." 2 Specific instances in 
which such previous sanction was required were 
laid down in Schedule III, and these related to 
the creation or abolition of posts reserved for 
members of all-India services or those carrying 
emoluments exceeding Rupees 1200 a month, ( in 
Burma Rupees 1250 a month ) and to the grant of 
compassionate allowances, gratuity or pensions to 
government servants or their families, not admissible 
under rules in force under Section 96 B of the Act. 
Such previous sanction was also necessary "to any 
expenditure on the purchase of imported stores or 
stationery otherwise than in accordance with "the 
rules made by the Secretary of State. 8 

In cases other than those mentioned above, the 
Local Government could sanction expenditure on 
transferred subjects to the extent of any grant voted 

1 Section 21 of the Act. 

2 Devolution Rule 27 A. 

8 Schedule III to Devolution Rules. Rule 1, 
F. 46 



362 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

by the Legislative Council. 1 In respect of reserved 
subjects, however, the Secretary of State had 
delegated his powers to the Local Government by 
executive order. Some classes of expenditure were 
defined which the Governor in Council could not 
sanction without the previous sanction of the Secretary 
of State, such sanction being necessary before the 
Legislative Council was asked to vote supplies to meet 
the expenditure. 2 But in the other cases the Governor 
in Council had full power to sanction expenditure upon 
reserved subjects also. The cases requiring previous 
sanction included the following in addition to the 
items mentioned in connection with the transferred 
subjects: 

(1) Capital expenditure upon irrigation and 
navigation works and upon projects for drainage, 
embankment and water storage if it affected more 
than one province or if the original estimate exceeded 
50 lakhs of rupees, 

(2) a revision of permanent establishment involving 
additional establishment charges exceeding rupees 
5 lakhs a year, 

(3) any increase in the sumptuary or furniture grant 
of a Governor or any expenditure on original work on 
his residence the estimate of which exceeded Rupees 
60,000, or any expenditure upon railway carriage or 
steamers for the use of a Governor. In both instances, 
reserved and transferred, all applications for previous 



1 Devolution Rule 27 (2). 

* Audit Resolution quoted in Madras Government 
Memorandum 1928. pp. 92-4, 



POSITION UNDBR THB ACT OP 1919 363 

sanction to expenditure beyond the competence of 
the Local Government, were to be submitted through 
the Governor General in Council who could sanction 
them if the request related to the grant of an 
increased pay in an individual case or to the creation 
or extension of a temporary post, otherwise he would 
forward them to the Secretary of State with his 
recommendations. 1 The Government of India by 
this means had been afforded the chance of 
regulating provincial expenditure of a particular 
type both in the reserved and the transferred spheres, 
if it exceeded a fixed maximum. In fact the 
character of such control remained the same as 
before 1918, though the limits had certainly 
been raised. 

Prior to 1918 there were some statutory restrictions 
on the competence of the provincial Legislative 

Councils to legislate for the province 
Legislative. besides the executive order that 

every bill must be submitted to the 
Secretary of State and the Government of India for 
sanction before its introduction. This could not be 
otherwise because the Legislative Councils were mere 
adjuncts of the executive government. But with the 
enlargement of the Councils and the admission of a 
larger popularly elected element into them under the 
new constitution, such limitations as were the vestiges 
of the old days of centralisation should have been 
withdrawn. By section 80A of the new Act, the 
local legislature had power to make laws for the peace 

i Rule 2. Schedule III to Devolution Rules. 



364 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

and good government of the province. But the Act 
and the Devolution Rules introduced restrictions on 
its authority. Clause 3 of section 80A specified the 
cases in which Legislative Council could not legislate 
without the previous sanction of the Governor General. 
Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, ex-Law Member of the 
Government of India, writes that this "previous 
sanction though a personal privilege of the Governor 
General is in practice given or withheld upon the 
advice of the Legislative Department ; and very often 
at some stage or other it has a great deal to say about 
it." 1 Thus the Government of India exercised a real 
influence over provincial legislation imposing a tax 
other than the scheduled taxes or affecting the 
public debt of India, the customs duties or other taxes 
imposed by the authority of the Governor General in 
Council, or affecting discipline of the naval, military 
or air force, or the relations of the government 
with foreign princes or states, the administration 
of central subjects, the administration of a provincial 
subject declared to be subject to legislation by the 
central legislature and the amendment or repeal of 
laws declared to be laws which could not be repealed 
or altered by the local legislature without previous 
sanction. 2 In addition to these provisions, the Local 
Legislatures ( previous sanction ) Rules and the 
Reservation of Bills Rules limited the powers of the 
provincial legislatures. 

Though the provision of previous sanction was 
intended to prevent clash of authority made possible 

1 Sapru : Indian Constitution, pp. 110-111, 
3 Section 80 A. Clause 3. 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 1919 365 

by the concurrent jurisdiction of the central and 
provincial legislatures, and the list of subjects on 
which the latter was not permitted to legislate was 
very small, yet it has to be admitted that these 
statutory checks subordinated the local Legislative 
Councils to an "irresponsible executive authority." 1 
Nevertheless, the advance from the earlier position 
had not been inconsiderable. The wholesale 
submission of provincial bills for previous sanction or 
review had been discontinued and the conditions under 
which the bill should be submitted for previous 
sanction had been specified. But these conditions 
were so comprehensive that a large number of local 
bills both relating to the transferred and the 
reserved subjects did require the previous sanction 
of the Governor General. The Local Government, 
particularly the transferred half, resented these 
restrictions and thought that such rules were 
inconsistent "with the development of independence 
of provincial legislation. "* But still the progress 
had not been such, and the division of legislative 
powers between the central and provincial legislatures 
was not as "scientific," as to preclude all chances 

1 Sapru p. 111. 

* Reports of the Local Governments on the working 
of the Reformed Constitution. 1924. Cf. Madras letter 
No. 532 of 28th July 1924, specially the Memorandum by 
Mr, A. P. Patro, Minister. 

Also evidence of the ex-ministers before the Reforms 
Enquiry Committee 1924. 

Also the Memorandum of the Governments of the 
United Provinces and Madras submitted to the Statutory 
Commission in 1928. U. P. Memorandum para 65 and 
Madras Memorandum pp. 110.112. 



366 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

of friction I bet ween the Central and the Local 
Governments. 

The functions which the Local Governments were 

empowered to perform under the new constitution 

may be classified as transferred, 

Comrol f reserved and agency functions, the 

last having been taken over by the 
Central Government in many cases after 1921. In 
respect of the first two, the control exercised by the 
Government of India was necessarily limited. Section 
45 (l) of the Act subordinated the Local Governments 
to the superintendence, direction and control of the 
Governor General in Council and enjoined upon them 
the duty, as in earlier Acts, of obeying his orders and 
keeping him "constantly and diligently informed" of 
their proceedings and other important matters, But 
the Act itself limited this superintendence "in relation 
to transferred subjects " to "such purposes as 
may be specified in rules made under this Act." 
Devolution rule 49 restricted it to three purposes, 
namely : 

"(l)to safeguard the administration of central 
subjects, 

() to decide questions arising between two 
provinces, in cases where the provinces concerned 
fail to arrive at an agreement, and 

(3) to safeguard the due exercise and performance 
of any powers and duties possessed by or imposed on, 
the Governor General in Council under, or in 
connection with, or for the purposes of the following 
provisions of the Act, namely Section 29 A, section 
30 (I A), Part VII-A cor of any rules made by, or 



POSITION UNDER THE ACT OF 1919 367 

with the sanction of, the Secretary of State in 
Council." The last clause was intended to safeguard 
the power of the Government of India in regard to 
the High Commissioner for India, borrowing and the 
protection of the interests of the Civil Services ; n 
India. In this way control in transferred subjects 
had been limited to such matters only as were of 
an all-India or Imperial interest. This was inevitable 
owing to Parliament's responsibility for the 
government of the country. It was presumed that the 
Central Government would not unnecessarily interfere 
with the discretion of the Governor acting with his 
Ministers. Nevertheless in practice, u the lack of 
entire freedom from higher control has given rise to 
difficulties 11 . 1 Though generally rule 49 has worked 
satisfactorily, "there is reason to believe that 
dissatisfaction has been felt with the manner in which 
it has been worked in relation to certain matters." 2 

The Government of India being interested in 
questions like land revenue, police administration, 
jail discipline and the maintenance of law and order, 
must retain power to interfere with Provincial 
Governments to secure uniformity of procedure and 
efficiency of administration. In respect of services 
too, particularly all-India services, it must remain 
vigilant to ensure the fulfilment of the Secretary of 
State's guarantee in their behalf. For these purposes 
and for the stability of the British Empire Jn India, 



1 United Provinces Government Memo., 1928 para 62, 

2 Sapru. p. 100, 



368 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

the Government of India was allowed unfettered 
discretion in the reserved subjects. Legally, therefore, 
the Government of India possessed considerable 
power of control over provincial administration, both 
reserved and transferred. But to the extent that the 
Provincial Governments were responsible to the 
elected representatives of the people, the Government 
of India had been restricted in the exercise of its 
powers of control. Otherwise its extent was as wide 
before as the reforms. 

At this stage it must be asked how far the new 
constitution (1919) provided for the establishment of 
provincial autonomy ? The Provincial Governments 
then constituted had been freed to a great extent 
from the meddling interference of the Government 
of India by a large measure of delegation and 
devolution of authority. A portion of the Provincial 
Government had been made accountable to the 
Legislative Council, and in so far was free from superior 
official control. Their revenue resources had been 
separated from those of the Government of India and 
they were empowered to impose taxes and borrow on 
the credit of their revenues. These are some of the 
attributes of provincial autonomy. But still the 
control exercised in financial matters, the clauses 
relating to previous sanction for provincial legislation, 
and the general administrative superintendence of the 
Gbverriment^of India, necessarily operated to restrict 
the scope of .provincial liberty. The advance towards 
the. goal of .provincial autonomy had undoubtedly 
commenced in 1919 but its realisation was yet distant 



CHAPTER IX 

CONCLUSION 

The history of the relations of Provincial 
Governments with the Central Government, as 
narrated in the foregoing chapters, is one of gradual 
escape from a position of complete subordination to 
a position of relative though limited independence. 
By the Act of 1833 the Provincial Governments 
were made subordinate to the Government of India 
and as long as the statutory position remained so, 
the superintendence of the latter extended to all 
regions of government, the legislative, the financial 
and the administrative. As a result of the mid- 
Victorian economic and political tendencies, the 
Central Government's control tightened. But even 
in its success centralisation revealed grave defects. 
It tended to disharmony, extravagance and 
irresponsibility. It aimed at uniformity in every 
detail of administration. But the differing conditions 
of the various provinces made it impossible to cut 
them all according to the same pattern. The result 
was a series of conflicts with the Presidency 
Governments. At the same time the financial 
derangement consequent on the Mutiny led the 
Central Government to seek for fresh^ 
revenue. Public opinion also desirec 
the people with the government, 
contributed to the reversal of 

369 

F. 47 



370 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

first step in the long process of decentralisation was 
taken in 1861 by establishing provincial Legislative 
Councils. Lord Mayo's scheme of financial 
decentralisation with its expansion into Baring's 
quinquennial settlements amounted to further 
relaxation of control by the Government of India. 
Gradually by executive orders, by disuse of authority 
and by the recommendations of the Decentralisation 
Commission, the Central Government withdrew 
from a close and detailed control over Provincial 
Governments. The final step was taken in 1919 
when the definite policy of giving to the "Provinces 
in provincial matters the largest measure of 
independence of the Government of India" which 
"is compatible with the due discharge by the 
latter of its own responsibilities, 1 ' was statutorily 
recognised. 1 

The most obvious changes were in the direction 
of finance, for finance was the chief medium through 
which the Central Government conveniently exercised 
its control over the Provincial Government. By 
successive stages extending from the partial 
provincialisation of certain heads of expenditure 
in 1870 to the permanent settlement of 1912, the 
financial discretion of the Local Governments was 
enlarged by allocating to their use certain heads 
of revenue and by relaxing the provisions of a 
complicated system of codes and regulations. But 
it must not be presumed that the development of 

1 Preamble to the Government of India Act 1919 
(9 and 10 Geo, 5, Chapter 101.) 



CONCLUSION 371 

this fiscal liberty of the provinces came about as a 

substantive or independent measure of reform. It 

was simply the necessary concomitant of the gradual 

loosening of administrative bonds. And because 

this withdrawal of the administrative superintendence 

of the Government of India could not be considerable 

owing to the existing constitutional position of 

that authority, financial decentralisa: ^on too was 

limited in its character. It could not go far because 

the provincial settlements were based not on 

provincial resources but on provincial needs, and 

because the Government of India continued to 

be the "financial conscience" of the Provincial 

Governments and the "residuary legatee" of all the 

revenues collected in the country. The position 

therefore in 1918 was not materially different from 

that in 1870, though there was least interference 

with the provincial finance. But as the Government 

of India was responsible for provincial solvency, 

and gave them "doles" out of its own surplus, the 

control on their expenditure and a scrutiny of their 

budgets could not be wholly eliminated. 

This leads us on to an enquiry into the statutory 
powers of the Secretary of State. By section 41 of 
the Government of India Act 1858, it was proved 
that "the expenditure of the revenues of Ind ia shall 
be subject to the control of the Secretary of State 
in Council; and no grant or appropriation of any part 

of such revenues .shall be made without the 

concurrence of a majority of votes at a meeting of 
the Council." Thus by statute the entire expenditure 



372 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

from Indian revenues was placed under the control 
of the Secretary of State, who, however, from time 
to time delegated his authority to the governments 
in India. Executive orders defined the limits within 
which the Government of India or the Local 
Governments could incur expenditure without the 
previous sanction of the Secretary of State. But 
that was merely a delegation of authority for "the 
more speedy transaction of public business." Also 
the Secretary of State was empowered to "superintend, 
direct and control all acts, operations and concerns 
which relate to the government or revenues of India," 
etc. 1 This gave him complete administrative 
control over the Government of India which could not 
therefore "enjoy any large measure of independence."* 
That government was vested with control and 
superintendence over the Local Governments. 
Therefore the subordinate governments could not 
expect to be free from superior control until the 
statutory position of the Secretary of State was altered. 
The Government of India Act 1919 provided for 
devolution of authority to Provincial Governments in 
the sphere of transferred subjects only and in so far as 
the administration of those subjects was subordinated 
to the control of the local Legislative Councils, 3 



1 Section 2 Clause 2 of the Government of India Act. 
* Sapru, Indian Constitution, p. 17. 

8 By rules under Section 19A of the Government of 
India Act the Secretary of State defined his powers of 
superintendence, direction and control, in relation to 
transferred subjects, to limited purposes namely 



CONCMUSION 373 

the provincial Governments were freed from the 
interference of the Government of India or the 
Secretary of State. Till then, it was futile to 
expect freedom of the provincial executives from 
superior official control for in the absence of Lny 
constitutional popular checks within the provinces 
they must be subordinate to the Government of 
India and the Secretary of State. The law 
was clear on the subject. All measures of 
decentralisation, financial, administrative or legislative, 



(i) to safeguard the administration of central 
subjects; 

(ii) to decide questions arising between two provinces, 
in cases where the provinces concerned fail to 
arrive at an agreement ; 

(Hi) to safeguard imperial interests ; 

(iv) to determine the position of the Government of 
India in respect of questions arising between 
India and other parts of the British Empire ; 
and 

(r) to safeguard the due exercise and performance 
of any powers and duties possessed by or 
imposed on the Secretary of State under or 
in connection with, or for the purposes ot the 
following provisions of the Act, namely section 
29A, 30 (1A) etc.. 

(No. 835G-14 December 1920. The Gazette of India 
1920 Part I. p. 2291). 

These conditions, though wide in their scope and 
liable to restrict the exercise of authority by the provincial 
Governments in transferred subjects, limited the inter- 
ference by the Secretary of State and thus allowed liberty 
to the Local Government to conduct its administration of 
certain subjects according to the wishes of the Legislative 
Councils. 



374 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

could at best be mechanical and merely for 
administrative convenience. 

The early history of decentralisation makes it 
quite plain. Though a section of administrators and 
Indian politicians indulged in speculations regarding 
the ideal relationship between the Central and 
Provincial Governments and even discussed the eventual 
establishment of a federation in India, their schemes 
did not substantially affect the course of development. 
Finance may be taken for illustration. The 
arrangements of 1870 were dictated by the pressing 
needs of the government and the allocation of the 
transferred services was determined less by theory 
than by the fact that they showed a tendency to 
increased expenditure. So also with later 
developments. Facility in administration, necessity 
of keeping low the outlay from central resources 
on 'non-elemental functions of government and the 
desire to maintain harmony with the Local 
Governments were the chief motives governing 
the expansion of decentralisation. The growing 
complexity of government and the development of 
material needs led inevitably to the liberty of 
the provinces. The discretion of the provincial 
authorities was enlarged because it was impossible 
to conduct the administration of a vast country 
from one centre. Political considerations also had 
their effect. Circumstances rather than design thus 
brought about the changes towards decentralisation. 
Nevertheless, the importance of these theoretical 
schemes cannot be minimised for they either 
prepared the public mind to accept the alterations 



CONCLUSION 375 

made in the existing system, or pointed the path for 
the ultimate demands of political India. 

The earlier chapters show a remarkable connection 
between decentralisation and the nationalist 
movement. The desire of the people for a share *n 
the government led the Supreme Government to 
devise means for their association with the 
administration. The earliest phase of that was the 
establishment of local self-govern mg bodies to 
which was assigned the conduct of local 
administration. To the extent that the municipal 
and local boards included popular element they 
were freed from superior dictation. Further, 
demands of the nationalists for representative 
institutions and control over the budget by the 
Legislative Councils led to the enlargement of the 
provincial councils by the admission of the elected 
representatives. This circumstance facilitated the 
comparative liberation of the provincial budget 
from the Government of India's control. It had 
been realised very early that superior official control 
could not be relaxed unless a corresponding check 
from within the province by the people was secured. 
Lord Mayo's scheme of provincialisation of finance 
contemplated the submission of the local budget 
to the provincial councils. But no action could be 
taken on it. Not before the Minto-Morley reforms 
could any move be made in that direction and 
then too haltingly owing to the partial character 
of the experiment in representative government. 

The national sentiment could not be satisfied. 
The . demand for responsible self-government found 



376 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

its concrete expression in the scheme of Provincial 
Autonomy, The new political programme affected 
the course of subsequent constitutional changes. 
The expansion of the Legislative Councils both in 
number and in power facilitated the emancipation 
of Provincial Government, though partially from 
the control of the Government of India. 
Decentralisation beginning with local bodies in the 
time of Lord Ripon was extended in 1919 to 
Provincial Government. The history of relaxation 
of superior official control is closely related to the 
popular demand for constitutional or responsible 
government in the country. "Between the 
constitutional changes and the attempts at 
decentralisation a certain parallelism is discernible' 1 , 
for the progress of a vast country like India with its 
unity amidst diversity could be possible only by 
means of a federation of the self-governing provinces. 
But as a preliminary to such development it was 
necessary to create self-governing provinces by 
devolution of power to them. The constitutional 
changes of 1919 by providing for this eventuality 
had brought Provincial Autonomy nearer and had 
paved the way for the ultimate establishment of a 
federation in India. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



p. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

ORIGINAL SOURCES. 
UNPUBLISHED RECORDS 

1. Political Department Letters from he Court of 
Directors to the Government of India. 1833 1834 

2. Political Department Letters to the Court of Directors 
from the Government of India. 1834 

3. Public Department Letters from the Court of 
Directors to the Government of India. 1852, 1853. 

4. Original Political Consultations. 1830, 1834, 1840. 

5. Original Foreign Consultations. 1855, 1858. 

6. Proceedings of the Government of India : Political 
Department 1835, 1836, 1841, 1843, 1846, 1850. 

7. Ootacamand Proceedings, Government of India : 
Political Department. 1834. 

8. Proceedings of the Government of India : Foreign 
Department. 1845, 1857. 

9. Proceedings of the Government of Indm : Public 

Department, 1835, 1854, 1856. 

10. Public Miscellaneous Records. Vols. 264 and 275. 

11. Letters from the Government of Bombay to the 
Governor General and Council. 1804-1838. 

12 Letters from the Secretary, Government of India to 
the Government Fort St. George 1801-1840. 

13. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department. Public Branch 1860-1898. 

14. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Judicial Branch 1860-1898. 

379 



380 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

15. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Police Branch 1861-1898. 

16. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Educational Branch 1860-1898. 

17. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Municipalities Branch 1871-1898. 

18. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Local Boards Branch 1882-1889. 

19. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Establishments Branch 1875-1897 

20. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Jails Branch 1889-1898. 

21. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Sanitary Branch 1889-1898. 

22. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Medical Branch 1875-1897. 

23. Proceedings of the Government of India : Home 
Department, Forests Branch 1879-1886. 

24. Proceedings of the Government of India : Public 
Works Department 1860-1897. 

25. Note on the history of the Provincial Financial 
Arrangements by Finlay. 1887. 

26. Selection of Decentralisation Papers, collection of 
papers of the Finance Department from 1870 to 1880. 

27. Selection of Papers relating to the Constitution and 
Functions of the Legislative Council 1888. 

28. Minutes by Sir Richard Temple, Governor of Bombay. 

29. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Sir John Lawrence in the Home Department. 
1868. 

30. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Ripon : 

(i) Finance Department 1884. 

(ii) Revenue and Agriculture Department 1884, 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 381 

31. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Dufferin 1888. 

(i) Finance Department 

(ii) Revenue and Agriculture Department 

(iii) Home Department 

32. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Lansdowne. 1894. Sections I-VI. 

33. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Elgin in the Finance Department. 
1894. 

34. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Curzon : Legislative Department. 
1905. 

35. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Minlo. 1910, Sections I-VIII. 

36. Summary of the principal measures during the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Hardinge. 1916 

37. Administration of Lord Wenlock, Governor of Madras, 

38. Note on the administration of H. E Sir A. Lowley, 
Governor of Madras 1906-1911. 

39. Review of the U. P. Government and Administration 
under Sir James Meston, 1912-1918. 

40. Administrative measures in the several branches of 
the Department of Revenue and Agriculture, Historical 
Summaries by Sir E. Buck. 1897. 

41. Review of Public Works administration during five 
years 1862-1867. 

42. Taxation of country liquor. A report on the system of 
Abkari administration by C. E. Buckland. 1888. 

43. Memorandum on the Progress of Jail Department 
in the Madras Presidency 1868-1874. 

44. Working of the Reformed Constitution. 

(i) Reports of Local Governments 1923, 1924. 
(ii) Views of the Local Governments. 1927, 



388 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

45. A synopsis of the papers relating to the Local and 
Provincial Finance 1861-1870. 

46. Note on the position of the Imperial Government 
under the Provincial Contract by Barrow. 1888. 

47. Papers relating to the proceedings of the Conference 
on Financial Relations. 1888. 

48. Papers relating to the Finances of the Government 
of India. 1876. 

49. Reports on the plan of assignments for Provincial 
Services. 1877. 

50. A collection of papers relating to the Covenanted and 
Uncovenanted Civil Services. 1886. 

51. Papers regarding the separation of judicial and 
administrative services. 1869. 

52. Note on the state of education in India 1861-1862. 
by Monteath. 

PUBLISHED RCORDS 

53. Bill relating to the Government of India submitted 
before the House of Commons 1833. 

54. Reports and Proceedings of the Select Committee 
of the Houses of Parliament relating to the Affairs o 
the East India Company. 1852-1853. 8 Vols. 

55. Education Despatch of 1854. 

56. Minute by Marquis Dalhousie regarding his adminis- 
tration. 28 February 1856. 

57. Correspondence between the East India Company 
and the Government of India respecting the Bills for 
the future Government of India 1853-1858, 5 parts. 
1858. 

58. Correspondence between the Government of India and 

the Government of Madras on the proposed financial 
measures in India, i860. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 383 

59. Councils in India. Letters from the Governor General 
in Council (Return and Papers. House of Commons. 
1861 Vol. 43, 279). 

60. Education Despatch to the Government of India, 
23 June 1864. (Return and Papers. House of Commote. 
1864. Vol. 42, 449) 

61. East India Public Works. 1865. 

62. Education in India i860- 1870. 

63. Report of the Committee on the Finances of India 
1872-1873. 

64. Finance, Circulars to all Local Governments. 
16 June 1879. (H. C. 1878-79. Vol, 55, 352, 569.) 

65. Report of James Caird on the condition of India 
and the Government of India Resolution on the same 
1880. 

66. East India, Local Government. Papers etc. relating 
to the extension of Local Self-Government. 1883. 

67. Abkari administration in India. 1887, 

68. Memorandum on some of the results of Indian 
administration during the past thirty years, 1889. 

69. Report and Proceedings of the Royal Commission on 
Indian Expenditure. 1895-1900. 4 Vols. 

70. Report on the Famine of 1860-1861 by R.B. Smith. 

71. Report of the Commission on Famine in Orissa 
and papers, 1867. 

72. Report of the Indian Famine Commission and 
papers, 1880 

73. Report of the Indian Famine Commission 1901, 1902. 

74. Report of the Indian Police Committee. 1905. 

75. Papers relating to the reconstitution of the Provinces 
of Bengal and Assam. 1905. 

76. Papers relating to the resignation of Sir B. Fuller, 
Lt. Governor of Assam. 1906. 

77. Report of the Indian Excise Committee. 1907. 



384 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

78. Orders of the Government of India on the Report of 
the Indian Excise Committee 1907. (Vol. 58, 142). 

79. Papers relating to the Advisory and Legislative 
Councils 1907. 

80. Advisory and Legislative Councils. Proposal of the 
Indian Government for Constitutionnl Reform with 
replies of the Local Governments. 3 parts. 1908. 

81. Report and proceedings of the Royal Commission on 
Decentralisation. 10 parts. 1909. 

82. Memorandum on some of the results of the Indian 
administration during the past fifty years. 1909. 

83. Correspondence relating to Excise Administration of 
India. 1914. 

84. Government of India (Amendment) Bill. Report of 
Committee. 1916. 

85. Addresses presented in India to the Viceroy and the 
Secretary of State in 1917. 

86. Report on Indian Constitutional Reforms 1918. 

87. Report of the Committee on Division of Functions 
(Southborough Committee). 1919. (Paper C.141, 103, 
176). 

88. First Despatch on Indian Constitutional Reforms. 

89. Fourth Despatch on Indian Constitutional Reforms. 

90. Report and evidence of the Joint Select Committee 
on the Government of India Bill, 1919. 2 Vols. 

91. Financial Relations Committee, (Meston! Committee) 
Report 1920. 

92. Memorandum submitted by the Government of India 
to the Indian Statutory Commission. 1 928. 2 Vols. 

93. Memoranda submitted by the Provincial Governments 
to the Indian Statutory Commission 1928. 

(i) Madras (ii) Bombay (iii) United Provinces 
(iv) Behar and Orissa (v) Punjab 

94. Report of the Indian Statutory Commission. 1929. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 385 

95. Moral and Material Progress of India. Annual Report 
submitted by the Government of India to the 
Parliament. 1861-1920. 59 vols. 

96. Report and Proceedings of the Royal Commission on 
Public Services in India (Islington Commission) 1916. 

97. Report of the Royal Commission on Superior Public 
Services in India (Lee Commission) 1924. 

98. Hansard's Parliamentary Debates ( particularly of the 
years 1858, 1867, 1871, 1872, 1877, 1878, 1892, 1908, 
1919 etc. ) 

99. Financial Statement by Sir Samuel Laing. 1861-62 

100. Financial Statements of the Government of India 
1862-1878 

101. Annual Financial Statements of the Government of 
India 1878-1920 42 vols. 

102. Report on Taxation in British India 1872. 

103. Local Taxation for Provincial requirements, Papers 
regarding, 1870-1871 ( N.W.P. Selections. Vol. IV) 

104. The Administration of the Earl of Mayo. A minute 
by Sir John Strachey. 1872 

105. Observations on some questions of Indian Finance by 
Sir John Strachey. 1874 

106. Correspondence regarding the formation of funds for 
famine relief purposes by local taxation 1870-1877 
(India Selections. No. 88) 

107. Report of the Finance Committee. 1886. 2 vols. 

108. Report of the Finance Commissioner with the Govern* 
ment of India, 1887 

109. Circulars of the Finance Department, 1888-1891 

110. Loans from general Revenue. Rules regarding the 
grant of, 1897 

111. Book of Financial Powers. 1918. 

112. Civil Service Regulations ( Various editions ) 

113. Civil Account Code 
P. 49 



386 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

114. Public Works Department Code Regulations 1869 
1870 and subsequent editions. 

115. The Fundamental Rules. 1919. 

116. Report and evidence etc. of the Public Services 
Commission 1886-1887. 3 vols, 

117. Selections from the Records of the Government of 
India relating to the Provincial Services. 1888-1896 

118. Papers connected with the reorganisation nf 
Educational services in India 1891-1897. 

119. Report of the Indian Educational Commission, 1882, 
including the Reports of the Local Governments and 
the Resolution of the Government of India on the 
Commission Report. 1884, 

120. Croft, Sir Alfred. A review of education in India from 
1881-82 to 1885-86. 

121. Papers connected with Education in India. 1892. 

122. Progress of Education in India. Quinquennial Reviews 

(I) 1886 by Nash 

(II) 1887-8 to 1901-2 by R. Nathan 

(III) 1902-1907 by H. W. Orange 

(IV) 1912-1917 by H. Sharp 

(V) 1916-1918 by G. S. Bajpai 

123. Papers relating to Technical Education in India 1886- 
1904. 

124. Report of the Indian Universities Commission, 1903. 

125. Selections from the Records of the Government of 
India, Home Department on Education. Nos. 8, 26, 
and 33. 

126. The Land Revenue Policy of the Indian Government. 
Resolution of the Government of India, 16 January 
1902. 

127. Selections of Papers on the Permanent Settlement, 

1897. (Government Press, Calcutta ) 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 387 

128. Resolutions of the Government of India on Famine 
Policy. 1892. 

129. Report of the Jails Committee 1867. (Selections 
No. 52 of 1867) 

130. Report of the Indian Jail Committee 1888. 

131. Papers relating to the Excise Administration of 

India 1890. 

* 

132. Report on Excise Administration by R. Logan. 

133. Speeches delivered by Lord Ripon. 1880-1884. 

134. Speeches delivered by Lord Dufferin 1884-1888. 

135. Speeches delivered by Lord Lansdowne 1889-1894. 

136. Speeches delivered by Lord Elgin 1894-1898. 

137. Speeches delivered by Lord Curzon. 1898-1905. 

138. Speeches delivered by Lord Minto 1906-1910. 

139. Speeches delivered by Lord Hardingc 1910-1916. 

140. Speeches delivered by Sir A. f Lowley, Governor of 
Madras, 1906-1911. 

141. Proceedings of the Legislative Council of India 
(Governor General's Council) 1883-1918. 35 vols. 

142. Proceedings of the Legislative Council of Madras. 
1862-1918. 

143. Proceedings of the Legislative Council of Bombay. 
1862-1918. 

144. Proceedings of the Legislative Council of Bengal 
1862-1918. 

145. Administration Reports of the various Provincial 
Governments issued annually by each Local 
Government. 

146. Acts passed by the Supreme Government and the 
Legislative Council of India. 1834-1920. 75 vols. 

147. Annals of Indian Administration, edited by Townsend 
Published from Serampore, being annual publications of 
the selection of the reports etc. of the Governments in 
Jo4r 1857-1869, Vols. 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13, 17. 



388 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

148. The Gazette of India for Resolutions of the 
Government of India and other papers and 
notifications. 1861-1920. 

149. Indian Constitutional Statutes 3 vols. (H. M. 
Stationers office) 

150. Government of India Act 1915. 

151. Government of India Act 1919 and the rules made 
thereunder. Issued by the Legislative Department. 
1924 

152. Reforms Enquiry Committee Report and evidence. 
1924. 3 vols. (Muddiman Committee Report) 

153. Civil Justice Committee Report, 1924. 

154. Taxation Enquiry Committee Report. 1925. 

155. Curtis, L. Dyarchy. 1920. 

146. P. Mukerji. Indian Constitutional Documents. 2 Vols. 

157. Ilbert; Government of India 

158. Reprt of the Indian Army Commission (Eden 
Committee) 1879,80. 

159. Morley John ; Indian Speeches, 1909. 

160. Recollections. 2 vols. 1917. 

161. Lady Minto : Lord Minto and Morley. 1934. 

162. Montagu, E. S.: An Indian Diary, 1930. 

163. Speeches by John Bright. Edited by Thorold Rogers. 

164. Manual of the administration of the Madras Presidency. 

165. Tromp: Forest Department of India 1917. 

166. Proceedings of the Indian National Congress. 1885- 
1918 ( Annual volumes ) 33 vols. 

167. Annie Besant: How India wrought for Freedom. 1916 

168. Quarterly Journal of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha 
1878-1995. vols. 1-18. 

169. Poona Sarvajanik Sabha. Report for 1873. 

170. Reports of the Bombay Presidency Association, 1852, 
5 March 1868, 1868*71 

171. Proceedings of the Mahajan Sabha, Madras 1884-85 etc. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 389 

172. Speeches by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. 

173. Speeches and writings of Dadabhai Naoroji. 

174. Speeches and writings of Bal Gangadbar Tilak. 

175. Speeches by Surendra Nath Bannerji 1880-1894. 
4 vols. 

176. Speeches by Sir Pherozashah Mehta. Edited by J.B. 
Jeejeebboy. 

177. Krishna Das Pal : Speeches and Minutes. 1867-1881. 

178. Lai Mohan Ghose: Speeches 

179. Wedderburn, Sir William: Speeches. 

180. Rashbihari Ghosh: Speeches. 

181. Devaprasad Sarvadhikari : Notes and Extracts- 

1891-1912. 

182. B.C. Pal : Nationality and Empire. 

183. Report of the Sub-Committee appointed by the 
Madras Provincial Congress Committee to consider a 

scheme of Self-Government. 15, August 1915. 

184. Shore, J : Notes on Indian Affairs 2 vols. 1837. 

185. Observations on the Madras and Bengal Governments 
and their relative positions. Pamphlet. 1852 (Also 
Calcutta Review No. XXXII 1852) 

186. Buckingham : Plan for the future Government of 
India 1852. 

187. Campbell : Modern India. 1852. 

188. Campbell : India as it may be. 1853. 

189. Capper, J : The Three Presidencies of India. 1853. 

190. Dickinson: India, its government under a bureaucracy. 
1853. 

191. Indian Reform Tracts. (1-10), 1853. 

192. Prinsep : The Indian Question, 1853. 

193. Martineau : Suggestions towards the future Govern- 
ment of India 1858. 

194. Keene : Indian Admiqistration. 1867. 



390 ORIGINS OF PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

195. Knight. R : Decentralisation of Finance in India. 
Paper read before Bengal Social Science Congress* 
22 April 1871. 

196. Difrect Taxation for India, the great Financial Blunder. 

197. Dacosta : The Government and Finances of India. 

198. Fawcett : Indian Finance. 3 essays. 

199. Naoroji, Dadabhai : The Financial Administration of 
India. 

200. Nowrozjee Ferdunji : On the Civil Administration of 
the Bombay Presidency. 

201. Connell, A.K. ; Dicontent and Danger in India. 1880. 

202. Temple, Sir Richard : India in 1880. 

203. Cotton, Sir Henry : New India. 1885. 

204. Ranade, M.G : A note on Provincial Finance in India. 

205. Dutt R. C. : Famines and Land-assessment in India. 

206. Chirol, Sir. V. : Indian Unrest, 1910. 

207. Subba Rao N. : The Public Service question in India. 

208. Indian Reform Project. 1915. 

209. Ramaswamy lyengar, Provincial Autonomy, 1916. 

210. Kelkar, N. C. : The case for Indian Home Rule. 

211. Sastri, Srinivasa: Self -Government for India under 
the British Flag. 1917. 

212. "India", a Journal issued in London, 

(i) W. C. Bonnerjee's speech at the meeting of 
women's National Liberal Association, London (issue dated 
21 October 1898). 

(ii) The needs of India, (issue dated 17 November 1905). 

213. "Hindustan Review" Indian monthly Journal. 

(i) Chintainani, C. Y. : Topics of the Day (issue May 
and June 1909). 

(ii) Dravid, N. A. : Provincial Finance, the quasi 
Permanent Settlements (issue October and Nov. 1910). 

(iii) Narasinham. Y. L. : Provincial Autonomy and 
Lord Crewe (issue September 1912). 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 3*1 

214. The "Pioneer 11 , a daily, dated 29 March 1909 (for its 
criticism of the Report of the Royal Commission op 
Decentralisation). 

SECONDARY SOURCES 

215. Ambedkar, B. R.: The Evolution of Provincial Finance 
in British India. 

216. Argyll, Duke of: India under Dalhousie and Canning, 

217. Balfour, Lady Betty : Lord Lytton's Indian 
Administration. 

218. Banner ji, P. N. : Provincial Finance. 

219. Bannerji, Surendranath: A nation in making, 192S. 

220. Bucban, John: Life of Lord Minto. 

221. Buckland, C. E.: Bengal under the Lieutenant 
Governors from 1854 to 1898. 

222. Chailley, J: Administrative problems of British India. 

223. Chand, Gyan: The Essentials of Federal Finance. 

224. Chesney: Indian Polity, Editions of 1868 and 1894. 

225. Cowell: The History and constitution of the Courts 
and Legislative authorities in India. 1872, 

226. Crawford, D. G.: A history of Indian Medical Services, 
2 vols. 

227. Dodwell, H. H.: A sketch of the History of India from 
1858-1919. 

228. Dodwell. H. H.: Cambridge History of India, vol. VI. 

229. Forrest, G. W. : The Administration of Lord 
Lansdowne, 1894. 

230. Fraser, Lovat : India under Curzon and after. 

231. Hough ton, Bernard : Bureaucratic Government. 

232. Hunter, W. W. : Life of Earl Mayo, 2 vols. 

233. Hunter, W. W. : Life of Lord Canning. 

234. lyenger. S. Srinivasa Raghava : Memorandum on the 
: progress of the Madras Presidency, 1893, 

235. Kaye, Sir John: The Administration of the 
India Company. 1853. 



392 ORIGINS OP PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 

236. Keralaputra : Dyarchy in India. 

237. Lee Warner : Life of Lord Dalhousie, 2 vols. 

238. Lovett, Verney : History of the Indian Nationalist 
Movement. 

239. Lyall, Sir Alfred : Life of the Marquis of Dufferin 
and Ava, Vol. II. 

240. Macdonald, J. Ramsay : The Government of India. 

241. Mackenzie: How India is governed 1882. 

242. Mallet, B : Lord Northbrook, a memoir. 1908. 

243. Martineau, J : Life of Sir Bartle Frere, 2 vols. 1895. 

244. Mody, H. P. : Sir Pherozashah Mehta, 1921. 2 vols. 

245. Newton, Lord : Life of Lord Lansdowne. 

246. Prichard: The Administration of India, 18591868, 
2 vols. 

247. Ronaldshay, Lord : Life of Lord Curzon, Vol. II 

248. Sapru, Sir Tej Bahadur: The Indian Constitution. 

249. Seton, Sir Malcolm : The India Office. 

250. Sivaswamy Iyer, Sir P. S. : Indian Constitutional 
Problem. 

251. Smith, Bosworth : Life of Lord Lawrence, Vol. II. 

252. Strachey, Sir John : India, its administration and 
progress. 

253. Strachey, Sir John and Lt. General Richard : 
Finances and Public Works of India, 1869-81. 

254. Sydenham, Lord : My Working Life. 

255. Thomas, P. : The Federal Finance in India. 

256. Trotter : India under Queen Victoria. 

257. Vakil: Financial Developments in Modern India. 

258. Watal, P. K. : System of financial administration in 
British India. 1923. 

259. Wedderburn, Sir W : Allan Octavian Hume, 1913, 

260. White, Sir Frederick A. : India, a Federation ? 

261. Wolfe, Lucien : Life of Lord Ripon, Vol. II 



INDEX 



ACTS 

1784 Pitt's India Act. 2. 

1793 Charter Act: its provisions 
relating to the control by the 
Supreme Government o! the 
Presidency Government 2-3 & ns. 

1883 ,\ c t o f f carried the process of 
centralisation further 3, difference 
between the Bill and the final Act, 
makes the G. G. in Council the 
sole law-making authority (Sec. 
89) 4, ns. its interpretation by 
the Court of Directors, 56 and ns* 
intentions of the Act and-in actual 
working 7, comes into operation in 
1834 its reactions. 9, 18, 21, 
22, 24, differentiates between the 
executive and legislative functions 
24 and n., Local Governments 
under and suggestions for their 
improvement 87-42 main basis of 
the authority of the Supreme 
Government. 48, 46 n., its force 
with regard to the financial 
supremacy of Government of India 
68,-empowered the Government 
of India to exercise formal 
supervision of Local Governments, 
68, 109, 156, 369. 

1885 Act of, Creation of the Agra 
Presidency suspended by other 
provisions, 11. 

1885 Acts. VII, XX, 88 n. 

188* Act XXVIII, 23 n. 

1837 Act XII, XXIII, XXIV, 23 n, 
XXI. 46 n. 

1888 Act I, 23 n. 

F. 50 



1840 Act XXIV, 23 n. 

1841 Act XXII, 23 n, 

1843 Act VII, 46 n. 

1845 Act XXIX, 23 n. XXIX, 46 n. 

1849Act I. 46 n. 

1850 Act IX, XXVI, 23 n. 

1862 Act I, II. Ill, XXVIII, 23 n. 

1853 Act of, the first legislative 
Council formed 25. 

1864 Act of, 22 n. 

1855 Act XXIV, 46. 

1856 Act VIII, XIII, 23 n. 

1857 Act VII, XXIX, 28 n. 

1868 Act of, did not disturb the 
earlier basis of relationship 
between the provincial and central 
governments, 43, 871. 

1869 Acts IV, XXIV, 28n, XXIV 813. 

1860 Act XL. 46 n, XXXI, IX, 
XXXII, XXXVI, 58 ns. 

1861 Act of, Indian Council, restores 
legislative powers to Bombay and 
Madras, the limitations thereof 
44, and ns. 46 ns., and the local 
Governments 4860, 66, 68, 59, 
61, 62 n., 108. 176 and n, 179. 

1861 Act V, 53 n., 74, 212, 246 n. 
Act XII 63 n. 

1862 Act XVIII and Madras 
Presidency town Jail Bill, 60. 

1863 Act XXIII not approved, 60 n. 

1864 Act III, XXIl46 n . f HI, XVI 
XVIII, 53. 

1865 -Act VII 66 n., XI 53. 

1866 Act 46 n , XX, 53. 

1867 Act XV. XXV, XXXIT, 63 n<. 

1 868 Act VI, IK, 53 n. Act V, 216 n, 
394 



394 



INDEX 



1869-XXI, 53 n. 

1870,-Act XXVI, 53 n. 

1871 Registration of Criminal Tribes 

Act, 190 n. 
1871 Punjab Land Revenue Act 

190 n. 
1872 Criminal Procedure Code 

189 n. 

1878 Northern India Canals and 

Drainage Act, 189 n. 
1874 Scheduled Districts Act 190 n. 
1876 Dramatic Parformances Act, 

190 n. 

1876 Reformatory S c h o ol s Act 

190 n. 

1877 Registration Act (III), 190 n- 
1878 Arms Act (XI), 190 n. 
1878 Indian Forests Act (VII,) 

190 n. 

1878 Opium Act (I) 190 n. 
1878 Press Act, 189. 
1879 Stamps Act, 189 n. 
1880 The Indian Merchants Shipping 

Act, (VII.) 190 n. 
1880 Bombay Revenue Jurisdiction 

Act amendment (XV,) 190 n. 
1881 Excise Act. 189 n. 215 n. 
1881 Burma Forest Act, 189 
1881 N. W. P. Rent Act, 189 n. 
1881 Indian Factories Act 189 n. 
1881 Bengal Tenancy Act 190 n. 
1881 C, P. Land Revenue Act 190. 
1888 Indian Tariff ActfXI) 190 n. 
1882 Indian Emmigration Act (1), 

190 n. 
1888 Land Improvement Loam Act, 

189 n. 190 n, 

1888 C. P. Tenancy Act, 189 n. 
1884 Agriculturist Loan Act (XII) 

190 n. Indian Explosives Act (IV) 
190 n. 

1886 Bengal Tenancy Act. 189 p, 
1888-Act III, 212, 287 n, 



1889 Act XVIII C, P. Municipalities, 
287 n. 

1890 Bombay District Police Act 
218 

1892 Act of, marked a definite 
constitutional advance, 208, and 
its objects as explained by the 
Secretary of State 214. 

1892 Act X Government 
Management of Private Estates, 
237 n. 

1894 Act XII Excise, IX Prisons 
I Poisons 237 n. 

1895 Act VIII, Police (Amendment) 
237 n. 

1899 Act VIII, Petroleum 
287 n. 

1902 Act XI C, P. Village Sanitation 
287 n. 

1911 Act XV Indian Factories XVI 
Bengal North-Western Provinces 
and Assam Civil Courts 319 IX 
Births, Deaths and Marriage 320. 

1912 Act Xthe Local Authorities 
Loan 319. 

1915 G overnment of India 

849. 

A DAMSON Sir Harvey, 269 

ADMINISTRATION (Provincial or 
Local) beginnings of interference 
in 216 conditions for satisfactory 
of provinces 242, means by 
which the Government of India 
controlled- 261 ,263, interference 
in 278, 279, withdrawal 
of the superintendence of the 
Government of India would make 
the more official 281, internal 
to be in the hands of provincial 
Governments, 282, public opinion 
influenced to a minor extent the 
financial of the provinces 290, 
administrative convenience 396, 



39S 



305, 309. control of the 
Government of India over 
31220, two causes leading to the 
control over 512, excise to be 
conducted on uniform lines 1914. 
314, the Government of India 
dwelt on the various methods by 
which the could be strengthened 
317, as envisaged by Hardinge 

329, the establishment of self- 
governing provincial autonomous 
in all provincial affairs pointed 
to the transference of power, 

330, constitutional advance must 
commence in the sphere of 832, 
338, the should rest on a wide 
popular basis, 340, large measure 
of independence 342, Pent land 
advocated withdrawal to the 
farthest limit of the control of 
by the Government of India and 
Secretary of State 344, 345, the 
restriction of the Government of 
India's control over transferred 
subjects led to responsible power 
in some spheres of 350, power 
devolved on Local Government 
352, the wishes of the provincial 
legislature to prevail in certain 
sphersof 355, the local 
legislature was to act as watchdog 
of the 359, legally the 
Government of India had 
considerable power of control 
over368. 

ADMINISTRATION, of Warren 
Bastings 1, idea of establishing 
a unified control 3, 7, the 
presidencies not deprived of 
administrative powers 8, 11, 16 
requirement of a growing and 
complex 18, and for uniformity 
in general 19-81, minor 21, 



the whole of a presideucy 
assigned to a Governor and 
Council 22, local government 
competent to carry on 28, 24 
relations between local and 
central governments in general^ 
31-33,41 administrative evolution 
43, minor 47, 48, domestic 
of presidencies and of provinces 
compared 48-9. Lt. Governors 
more amenable to control in 
i n t e r n a 1 50, 1 o c a 161, 52, 
administrative reforms, 61 
administrative control of the 
Government of India over 
provinces 68-92, 94, 95, 96, 
101, need for up to date made 
for change, 102 107, 108, 111, 
118. Indian has not even shadow 
of the control by people 121, 123, 
it was too early for the 
establishment of autonomous 
p r o v i n c i a 1124, 128, of 
transfered services 181. 133, no 
disintegration of 137, 148, 156, 
administrative control of 
Government of India (1870-87) 
161-76, education 161-3, local 
self-govt. 163-164, jails 164-66, 
police 166-8, law and order 
168-70, revenue 170-2,-judiciary 
171-2, public services 172-4, 
general 174-76, the interference 
of Government of India in 
provincial had greatly abated 
after the inception of Lord Mayo's 
scheme 176, 191, the main 
purpose of the reforms of 1892 
to associate. Indian gentleman of 
exprience wit h 2 9 
decentralisation in 
during 18881906, 21636 
Jail 225 27, p o H c e 228 30, 



596 



ittBttX 



excise 2W 81, famine relief 
8312, judicial-232 84,~control 
284 \86, Local Governments chafe 
under restriction 240, tightening 
of administrative control under 
Lord Curzon 2518. Curzon 
wanted to have all the strings of 
in his hands 254, efforts made to 
concentrate all the aspects of 
under official control 268, 
considerations of administrative 
efficiency led to centralization in 
259, demand for a higher standard 
of 260, active enquiry into every 
branch of leading to increased 
work 264, demand for increased 
participation of the people in the 
of the country 266 . importance 
of assigning a large share to the 
people in the of the country 267, 
necessity of the extension of 
decentralization in and the pace 
of its progress under Mjnto 268, 
cause cf the delay in the measures 
of administrative reform 273, 
decentralisation of powers 280, 
had become over centralised 283, 
general supervision and control 
over not relaxed 294, little 
alteration in the administrative 
control by the Government of 
India 295, 'doles' still a feature 
of Indian and the general 
principles of determained by 
the Supreme Government 296, 
demand for subordinating to 
the will of the people 297, 
decentralisation of administrative 
control 886, changes in the structure 
of government were makeshifts 
to secure administrative 
convenience 899, increasing 
association of Indians with every 



branch of (declaration of Aug. 

20, 1917) 339, "financial concience 

of the" 345. 
AFGHAN WAR 167 n 3. 168, the 

Second >41. 
AGENCY FUNCTIONS and their 

responsibility 847, could be 

withdrawn from Local Governments 

348, taken over by the Central 

Government in 1921, 366. 

AGRA, Governorship of, to be 
instituted by the Act of 1833 the 
new charge to be very minutely 
controlled 7, Presidency of 
refers matters to Government of 
India 9, creation of the 
Presidency of suspended by the 
Act of 1836, a Lt. Governor 
appointed 11, responsible directly 
to G. G. in Council 11. 

AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT duties 
of prescribed 231, grants to local 
Governments for research and 
appointment of Inspector General 
of Agriculture 264 ns. the post 
abolished; Government of India 
to exercise minimum control over 
320, classified as a provincial 
subject 353, completely under 
the control of the local legislature 
864. 

ALLAHABAD High Court established 

at in 1866, 60. 
AMBEDKAR. 119 n, on provincial 

finance 155 & n. l f 260 n 293 n, 

346 n. 
AMBICA Charan Mazumdar 

281 n, 283 p, 

ANAND Charlu 202 n, 244 o, 
ARBUTHNOT, Mr, 106. 119, 181 n. 

182 n, 183 & n, not hostile to the 

proposal of the Government of 



IXDBX 



397 



India relating to the power of 
direct correspondence 185 & n, 
ARGYLL, Duke of 185, 
IR1IY, separate for each presidency 
1. within the special jurisdiction 
of G. 1. 1 ISanitary Commission 
85, HO n , 111, Governments of 
Madras and Bombay to refer 
questions relating f to through 
the Government of India 196, 
separate presidential armies 
continued till 1894, 188, revision 
of contracts gives more to the 
Government of India to spend 
on 242. 

\RMS Act 52, power retained by 
Centeal Government 53, 235 & n, 
\SSAM 79 n., enters into financial 
arrangements with the Government 
of India 149, Government restricts 
the I Jury System 233, settlement 
with in 1904-5, 250 n., 316 n , 
319 and n. gets a legislative 
couucil 322. 

\SSESSMENT, measures for 
introducing more elasticity into 
the system of 317, 318. 
\SSIGNMENT made to the provincial 
Government for local expenditure 
260, 261, -fixed from the provincial 
to Imperial Goveroraeul 280, fixed 
285, the R. C. D. objected to 
the policy of fixed-291 293, 301. 
302, 

BAKER, Mr 268. 
BALFOUR, Lady 182 n, 183 n. 
BANNER ji 17 n, 119 n l,240n, 240 n, 

307 n. 
BANME1JI, S.N,,244n 330n,3H2, 

BARING 15*. 370, 
BASU, B. N. 270, 283 n. 
BAYLEY, E.C, 47 n,, 54 n., 56, 60 n., 
62 n., 70n., HOn., 120 n. 



BEHAR gets a legislative 
concil under Minto-Morley scheme 
322 -and Orissa te form a separate 
province 329. 

BENGAL, vain attempt to 

subordinate Bombay and Madras 

to 1, 3 n, 5 n., its relations with 

the G. G. in council excited the 

jealousy of other presidencies 8, 

and n. 9 n, the Government of 

under a Deputy Governor 11, 

G . G. also Governor of 

constitution of its executive 

government 21-22. n, dominates 

the Supreme Council and 

Government 37 and n,, gets 

legislative conucil in 1862 44, 

members of Board of Revenue 

appointed by G, I. 47, Lieutenant 

Governor of holds a lower 

position 49, gets a legislative, 

council in 1861 and a high court 

60, \vroug notion about the status 

of as presidency 52, 57, 58 n., 

50 n., law relating to collection of 

tolls on canals assented to by G* G. 

with reservation 60 and n. 61 n., 

62 n , 74 n. f enquiry made from the 

Government of 76 & ns., 77 & 

ns., 78 ns., 79 n, ( -Government 

reprimanded for deviation from 

rules 82 n. and n. 83 n, 86 

n. 105, 106, 107, 108, objects to 

Massey proposals 115 n. 142 n., 

Government recommend t h e 

provincialisatioo of Judicial, 

Revenue, Executive Services, and 

suggested Incom-Tax, Stamp, and 

Court fees for percentage of 

revenues 145 and n., financial 

arrangements made with 

Government of for 5 years, 148 

n., 153n., Government of asked 



398 



INDEX 



to subm it a report on the trial of an 
Inspector of police 1667 and ns. 
170 n., 172 n. 176 n., 177 n., 
required to submit Bills through 
the Government of India 178, 
180 n., 186 and n., 200 n., 201u., 
203 n. 206 n. 207 n. 212 n., 
215 n,, Government asked to be 
more active in pushing village 
sanitation and supply of pure water 
213 and ns., Lt. Governor of 
objects to the curtailment of the 
power of local Governments 272 
and n. 229 n. Government of 
restricts the Jury system, agitation 
in 233, protested against the 
principle of provincial contracts 
247, settlement with 1904-6 260 
n., 272 ^n., general feeling in 
against the extension of authority 
to local Government 288, on the 
verge of bankruptsy 291, 
recrudescence of seditious 
activities in in 1913 d!6 and n., 
the Government of appoint a 
committee 317, 319 and n. 3, 
abolition of the partition of 
recommended by Hardinge 329. 

BENGAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 69. 

BIPIN CHANDRA PAL 316. 

BHASKUTE, MR 244 n. 

BILLS, the effort of the Government 
of India in 1869-71 to review all 
proposed local had failed 176, only 
penal provisions of examined by 
the Government of India, the 
attention of local governments 
drawn to delects only unofficially, 
in 1874 the Secretary of States 
orders that all before 
introducion should be submitted 
to him 177-8, changes in the 
procedure of submission of-1 78-81, 



practice! of previous scrutiny of 
tightened (1888-1906) 211, 
every police must be submited 
for sanction 212-88, Prisons 227, 
private affecting revenue to be 
submitted to the Secretaryof State 
321, examined in their different 
bearings, 322, every bill to be 
submitted to the Secretary of 
State before introduction till 
1918, 363, new position after 1918, 
364, wholesale submission of 
provincial for previous sanction 
discontinued 366. 

BIRD, William Wilberforce 9 n. 

BOMBAY (PRESIDENCY) Under the 
control of G. G. 1, further checks 
on its powers by the Act of 
1798 J-8, retained separate 
army system, 7, and n., 
all appointments made by local 
government 9, 10 n, government 
of permitted to approach the 
Court direct 13, & n., referred all 
financial matters direct to Court, 
reminded of the limitations 
of its powers 14, & n.. 16 & ns , 
not docile, list of references to 
the Court 16 & ns., 
Government taken to task 19, 
20 n , r t 21 n. had a free hand in 
land-revenue 29. defies financial 
control by Central Government 
30 n., had a separate army 31,, 
32&ns., 84, '35, chafes under 
restrictions 37-8, 39, legislative 
powers restored to 44, armies 
of excluded from the control of 
G. I. 47, superior tone and claims 
of differential treatment of 
62, 64, 67 n., 68 n.. Municipal 
Act assented to by G. G. 
conditionally 60, 62 ns., schemes 



INDEX 



399 



of public works prosecuted in 
involving much waste 67, 
Government most rebellious 68,- 
could not accept the scheme of 
the Government of India for the 
reorganisation of police 75 & n. 
80 n., 81, 82, Governor in Council 
the final judge of the propriety 
of High Court establishement 
83 n. resent interference 
in P. W. D. 85, p o w e r s of 
expenditure of Government on 
projects 86 & n., Government 
given authority of appointment, 
transfer and promotion of 
Executive Engineers assigned to 
the province 87, cases of 
interference by the Government 
of India 88-9 had ample 
discretion 91, evaded control 
92, 96, development of political 
life at 99, G overnment 
habitually defied the Government 
of India 100, 110, 116n. 
insubordination of the 
Government of 120, 
substantial additions to local 
rates in-141, famine in 148, 162 
& n., rising .mortality in jails 
165 & n, forgery of currency 
notes discovered in 167 n. 
172 n, 173 & n. 175 n. 177 n., 
sends the Bills direct to the 
Secretary of State 178, 179 ns. 
180 ns,, attempt to curtail the 
privilege of direct correspondence 
with the Secretary of State 
possessed by the Government of 

181, Government of continued 
its notorious insubordination 

182, the Governor of opposed 
the policy of famine relief as 
outlined by the Supreme 



Government '183, 184. the 

Governor in council of considers 

undesirable any questions 

affecting his privilege of direct 

correspondence 185, & n,-to refer 

questions relating to army and 

princes through the 

Government of India to Home 

Government 186. 192 n. 199 n. 

201 ; n , 211 n., 212 ns. 218 & ns. 

215 ns., 222.n., 223, ns. 229 n., 

280 n., 233 & n. 235 n., 236 n. 

protests against the principle of 

provincial contracts 247, 

settlement iwith 1906-6, 250 n. 

Governor of -ignored the Central 

Government 251, note of the 

Government of for R. C. D. 

259 n. 261 n, 262 & n. 263 n. 

2(>8, opinion of Government as 

presented to R. C. D. 272 & n. 

273 n. 277, the entire excise 

revenue provincialised in 292, 

293, desired freedom for the 

mode of spending 'doles' 301, 

318, 322, 3J4, 325 n . 326 and n., 

the Government advocated a 

statutory demarcation of the 

Imperial and provincial spheres 

345 and n. 
BOMBAY Presidency Association 

100 n., Ill n, 112 n., 198 n. 

BRADLEY 268 n, 278 n, 277 n. 

BRIGHT, John, proposes the 
division of India into several 
autonomous presidencies 99 and 
ns., land 2,109 n. t 241 

BRITISH INDIA 8, 27, 40, all 
revenues collected in formed one 
purse 45, necessary to maintain 
uniform conditions of service 
in 69, 

BRUCE, Co LOW EL 90. 



406 



INDJtt 



BUCHAN 254 n,, 267 n. 

BUCKINGHAM, Duke of 182. 

BUCKLAND 22 n, 

BUDGET (Imperial) no estimates 
framed or sanctioned 29, the 
first framed in I860, 30, 40, 46, 
estimates 68 system limited 
expenditure, latitude to local 
Government w i t h i n estimates 
64, 66. general 104 n., 107, local 
Governments be allowed 
discretion in seilling their 
110, scheme of the separation of 
local from central put forth in 
the press and plat from 111, 112, 
relief to Impeirat 114, shows a 
deficit in ,1866 116, separation of 
122. grants to be regarded 
final 125, some heads of 
expenditure to be removed from 
126 and n. 133 n., local 
Governments subject to budgetary 
rules 134, the reform of 1870 
advantageous to the Imperial of 
India 189, d e b a t e 198 n. 
surplus become normal feature 
202, rules emphasised 204, 268, 
extension of the powers of 
legislature over the 287, 
discussion 309, the provincial 
bndget separated from the 857. 

BUDGETS (LOCAL. PROVINCIAL) 114 
separation of budget 122, separate 
estimates and accounts for 
provincial services 180, local 
Governments subject to budgetary 
rules 186, education transferred 
to 161, 198, and contracts 
identical 198, estimates required 
the final approval of the 
Government of India 205, the 
Government of India enjoined 
strict aahertoce to-estimates 206n. 



demand for the power of 
discussing the 209, causes of the 
ineffective provisions for the 
discussion of 209, absurdity of 
discussing already approved by 
G. G. in Council, its advantage 
pointed out by the latter 210, 
should be left entirely to the local 
legislative council 244, 
restrictions 261, 268. 279, 280, 
285, extension of the power of 
legislatures over discussion in 
local councils, 287-90, divided 
into two parts 288, some liberation 
of the provincial Governments 
from the control of the supreme 
Government in the matter of 292, 
local Governments promised a 
little more freedom in the framing 
of these 293, atill.required the 
sanction of the Government of 
India 295, withdrawal of control 
over 298, correction in would 
be confined to major'divided heads 
299, local Governments could not 
for deficit 806,809, the provincial 
separated 357, 371, 376. 
BURMA 22, chief commissionership 
of directly under G. I. 47, 51, 
54, 140 n., entered into financial 
arrangements wit hj the 
Government of India 149, 150, 
189 n., Burma War 197 n. 
207 n,,-gete a legislatve Council in 
1897, 211 n., 1, 229 n. settlement 
with-1907, 250 n. 272 n., evidence 
of the Lt. Governor of before 
R. C. D. 276*77 & n., readjustment 
of land r e v e n u e 292, the 
principle of long time settlement 
reaffirmed in-318, the Government 
of sounded a note of warning 
to provincial autonomy 845,861, 



CALCUTTA 18, 19, 22 n . 32 n .37 n.. 
60, 76, H i[g h Court of-77, 
Executive authority of G. of I. 
over the High Court of 83, 
development of political life at 
99, 209, n, 220 n. f 234 n. 327 n. ( 
removal of the capital from 328. 

CAMPBELL, GEORGE 22, n, 111 n. 

CANNING, LORD 55 t 66 n. 

CENTRALISATION its need as created 
by the Regulating Act 1, 
improvement effected by the Act 
of 1784 and the Act of 1793, 2-3. 
further steps by the Act of 1833 
3-7, weak points in 8-10, causes 
of its growth after 1834 11, 
directions of its growth 1221. 
first step towards and the causes 
of 17-21, final stage reached in 
1860 18, p r o p o s a 1 s of the 
advocates and opponents of 
38-39, of numerous services 
complete 47, causes of 
centralisation between 
186070 92-7, never had 
uninterrupted trial 98, forces 
working against 99-104, evil of 
over did not exist 120, outcry 
against in the time of Curzon 
267, effective reached its climax 
under Curzon 268, and Inspectors 
General 262-4, Minto deprecates 
the ut e of the w o r d ,his 
explanation of the term 226. 

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT its 
legislative supermacy &, failure 
of the Directors to draw a line of 
distinction between the and local 
Government 6, was to control 
financial administration 7, takes 
over control of States relations 
from the provinces 19, its integrity 
maintained 27, 80, interferes with 



INDEX 401 

octroi taxation 85, 96, increase 
in its work 101 and n., could not 
provide funds for internal 
development 102, 108, 111, 118, 
demarcation of the function of 
d i ffi c u 1 1 123, 124, 126 ,f-.e 
measures of 1870 merely intended 
to reduce the work of and, its 
conflict with subordinate 
Governments 134, the 
maintenance of the authority of 
of vital importance 136, advantage 
to considerable 137, 140, 141, 
149, the quinquennial contracts 
the basis of financial relations 
between t h e a n d local 
Governments 161, 166, had the 
first claim on the revenues 168, 
160, secured the co-ordination 
of provincial departments in the 
detection of crime 167, 170, 
criticised for the control exercised 
over provinces, criticism 
unwarranted 202, exercised strict 
control 206. its resolution on 
detailed programme of educational 
work 220, 221. non-official opinion 
looked to for reform 239, local 
Governments opposed to rivision 
of settlements in favour of 240, 
financial difficulties of and the 
case for a change 246-6, ignored 
by the Governor of Madras and 
Bombay 264. Presidency 
governments flout the SS56, to 
maintain an effective supervision 
over local authorities 268, effect 
of the enlargment of the scope of 
supervision by 264, Minto denied 
any attempt on the part of 
to usurp powers of the local 
governments 266. necessity of 
r e \i e v i n g the of a mass of 



402 



INDEX 



detailed work 287, 271, 272, 278, 
exercise of its legal powers by 
cramped the initiative of trie 
subordinate governments 288, 
relationship b e t w e e n a n d 
Provincial Governments as 
influenced by Minto M o r 1 e y 
Reforms 287-90, other government, 
craving for assistance from the 
291, the changes of 1912 did 
not affect the fundamental basis 
of relations between the provincial 
government and the 194-7, 
reduced occasions for interference 
by the 299, must retain the 
option of saying how its grants 
were spent 302 and n., number 
of references to must have 
decreased 308. the local 
governments had to depend on the 
bounty of its results 309-11, 
312, provincial governments acted 
mainly as agents of the in the 
management of Imperial services 
320, the and the extent of 
control exercised by it over the 
legislative functions of the local 
governments 321-24, relations 
between the and the local 
governments according to the 
Congress-League Scheme 836-7, 
388, the" creation of self-governing 
provinces organised and 
coordinated by one-recommended 
by n o n-o ffi c i a 1 s 840 841, 
the subordination of Local 
Governments to the before 1918 
strengthen! ed because, 344, 
to interfere in transferred 
subjects for specific purposes only 
348, 861, definite heads of 
revenue allocated to the 366, 
faced with a deficit, was to 



receive contributions from 
provinces 356, the separation of 
resources altered the character 
of relations between the- and 
provincial governments 360, 
chances of friction between 
the and Iccal governments not 
eliminated 366, 367 869, 370, 374. 

CENTRAL PROVINCES C h i e f 
Commissionership 
of directly under G. of I. 47, 
61, 64, 74n., proposal of the 
Chief Commissioner of 129 & 
n. 163 n., 221 n. ( definite 
excise reforms passed in 231, 
asked to improve the law 
regulating the relations of 
landlord and tenants 239, 
settlement with in 1906 260 n., 
three fourths of excise revenue 
provincia lised in 292, a 
legislative Council in 822. 

CENTRAL SUBJECTS as 
distinguished from prov incial 
subjects 847, 348, 360, the 
administration of 364, 366, 373 n. 

CHELMSFORD, LORD 339. 

CHESNEY 46, schera 2 of division 
of functions 109, & n., 123. 

CHIEF COMMISSIONER 61, limits on 
his power 63 & n. 108, 128 n. 
140 n. 

CIVIL Accounts (Departmnet-Ccde) 
its officers required to report 46, 
Code 168, 261. 272, 276, 
278 n. , R. C D. recommended 
the revision of Code 286. 

CIVIL SERVANTS 9, Government 
of India lay down rules for the 
promotion and training of 82, 
general arrangements respecting 
made by the Supreme 
Government 174, 222, 367. 



INDEX 



403 



CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS 
82 n. 158, Loccl Governments 
bound to follow 172, 261 272, 
276. 277 & n. 278 n., R.C.D. 
recommended the revision of 
p. 285. 

CIVIL SURGEONS, policy laid down 
for their appointment 80, Civil 
Assistant Surgeons placed in 
charge of Jails by N. W. P. 
Government, objections by the 
Central Government 81. 

CONGRESS-LEAGUE SCHEME t h e 
fundamental idea of the 336, 
its provisions 335-7, basis of 
the suggestions to the Secretary 
of State and the Viceroy 340. 

CO-O PERATIVESOCIETIES 

classified as a provincial subject 
353, completely .under the 
control of the local legislature 354. 

CONSTITUTIONAL ADVANCE not 
practicable without extension of 
decentralisation 267-8, Secretary 
of State's statement in 
December 1908 relating to 
271, 280. Lord M o r 1 e y 's 
scheme of reforms 286-90, 
Indian Constitutional Reforms 
309, public feeling for be?ame 
crystallised 324, had not kept 
pace with the advance of political 
ideas 32t>, must commence 
ia the sphere of p r o v i n c ia 1 
administration 332. 

COURTS. Civil and Criminal under the 
jurisdiction of provincial 
Governments 23 & n. structure of 
to be after the model of 
Bengal 32, structure of lower- 
prescribed by the s u p r e me 
Government 88, work of the 
executive control of by local 



Governments supervised by the 
Central Government 171, village 
180 n., Criminal 228. 

COURT OF DIRECTORS could over- 
ride the G. G, and Council 8, 8 
and n. interpret the Act of 
1833, 56, unable to draw the 
line of distinction 'between the 
functions of the local and Central 
Governments 6, 2 n., concedes 
to the Presidency Governments 
the right of proposing projects of 
local laws 8, 10 n. 12 and n, 
12, 14, andn.,16 and n. 16,24, 
29 n., 34 and n. 35 n. 

COURTS OF JUSTICE laws to be 
made for, by G. G. in council 
4, 23n. 

COVENANTED CIVIL SERVICE 32, 
47, 174 n. 

CREW, Lord, 330. 

CRIME, co-operation of provincial 
departments in the detection 
of 167, growth of 228, 230. 

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION 
DEPARTMENT 317. 

CRIMINAL (JUSTICE) department, 
the subject of close attention by 
Central Government 20, Courts 
under the control of provincial 
Governments 23, c o u r t s 28 t 
subject to strict control by 
Central Government 76. 
Government of India enquire 
into the question of 228, 812. 

CROSS, Lord 264 n. 

CROSTHWAITE, Sir Charles 282. 

CUNNINGHAM, 61 n . 

CURRY 71 n. 

CURRENCY NOTES, forgery of, 
in Madras and Bombay 167, 

CuRTls L, 841 n. , 

C u R z o N, LORD, under the 



404 



INDBX 



supr intending and controlling 
authority of the Government of 
India had full play 195, 315, 
216, 217, finds serious defects 
in education, his steps to remove 
them 220 and n,, 221 n., 228. 
and the excise policy of the 
Government of India 231, 
rebutted the charge relating 
to the connection between the 
frequency of famines and the 
land revenue policy of the 
government 233, 235 n. f 
and decentralisation 248-58 and 
ns., fixes a quasi permanent 
settlement 249, scheme 
of decentralisation 251 ns., 
253 ns., wanted to have all the 
strings of administration in his 
hands 254, on the right of direct 
correspondence 255, n., 
's conception of the 
responsibility and authority of 
the Government of India 257-8 
and ns., the Viceroyalty of 
saw the height of reaction 259, 
made a fetish of efficiency 260, 
Inspectors-General appointed in 
the time of 262, asks for 
additional staff in the Home 
Department 264, 267, 317. 

CUSTOMS under the control of 
Provincial Government 23 & n, 
duty, uniformiiy of incidence 
impossible 28, 40, law relating 
to duties could not be passed 
by provincial legislatures 55, 
Government of India retained 
full control over 320, 336, 364. 

CUSTOMS ACT power retained by 
the Central Government 53, 

DALHOUSIE 17, 22 n , 29, 34 n., 
95 & n. 39 n. 



DEBTS 109, 111, Government of 
India had the immediate direction 
of 260. 

DECENTRALISATION 
1860-70, factors leading to, 98-104 
schemes of 104-112, projects of 
financial decentralisation 113 
118, of Wilson 113, of Lang 118- 
15, of Massey 115-16. of Colonel 
Stratchey 116-118, opinions of 
local governments on it 118-19, 
keynote of all schemes 119, 
Durand opposes, his reasons 
thereof 120-21, criticism of the 
schemes of, 122-25 as 
contemplated by the Resolution 
of 1870, 129-33. in action 1870- 
87, effect of Mayo's scheme, 134, 
limits imposed by the Resolution 
of 1870 135. the scheme falls 
short of real 136, defects of the 
scheme of of 1870, 139-41, 140, 
the scheme burdensome to the 
people 141, extension of 1877-82, 
146-54, 159 n., under various 
beads, administrative 161 -7 6 f 
legislative 176-81, in relation to 
the Secretary of State and the 
Government of India 181 -?8. 
summary of the position 1870-87, 
188-94, Lord Lytton and the policy 
of 191, setback injthe policy of 
1888-1906, 195-258, financial not 
so marked, Local Governments 
reminded of their 
position 195, Royal Commission 
on 205 n. extension of by 
the establishment of Provincial 
Loans Account 206. financial 
210, Royal Commission on- 
local legislation 214, legislative 
during 1888-1906 208-15, 
a d*m i n i s t r a t i v e 216-7, 



INDEX 



405 



in education 217-221, local self- 
government 221-24, law and 
order 224-36, Government of 
India desired to extend the 
system of but little progress, 
causes threreof 238-40' 
schemes fo r in finance 
240-48, permanent division of 
revenue and expenditure 
between local and Central 
Government, 240, financial 242. 
Gokhale's scheme of 242-3, 
Wacha's scheme 243-44. 
Secretary of State on in 1888 
246-46, under Lord C u r z o n 
218-68, review of Curzon's scheme 
of 260-261, Curzon willing to 
concede-consistent with efficiency 
268, Royjil Commission on 259, 
causes of the need for further- 
264-8, the Secretary of State 
deprecates departure from the 
principle of 266, necessity of the 
extension of the process of and 
the pace of its progress 
during the Viceroyalty of Minto 
268, Home Government 
determined to appoint a 
Royal Commission to report on 
the advisbility of a large degree 
of in civil administration 2 7 0. 
divergent proposals of before 
the Commission 276-82, 
unaccompaind by the transfer of 
power to the representatives of 
the people would be distatesf ul to 
the latter 284, the Commission 
recognised that larger financial 
possible only with the enlargement 
of the powers of the legislative 
councils 284, Minto- Morley 
reforms and prospects of 289, 
changes effected in 1912, 290-7, 



the permanent sattlement marked 
a step for word in the process of 
298, 303 n. true 308 n., had 
not progressed enough to lead to 
provincial autonomy 311, tendency 
in administrative control by t v a 
Central Government towards 
instances quoted 318-20, in 
legislation under Minto-Morley 
scheme 321-24, some provincial 
governments : fgarded as solution 
of the drawbacks in the Minto- 
Morley reforms 324, the 
passage in Hardinge's despatch 
interpreted by Crew in the sense 
of further of control 330, the 
of finances did not go far enough 
334, -of the administrative and 
legislative control 336, 338 t 
Joint Report on 343-45, 346, first 
step in the long process of taken 
in 1861, 370, 373, 374, 376. 376. 

DECENTRILISATION, Royal 
Commission on, 269 and ns., 261 
ns., 262 ns., 263 ns., 264 ns., 
appoinment of the 268-70 terms 
of reference 270-71, analysis of 
evidence 271-74, 273 ns.. proposals 
submitted to divergence in them 
276-82, 276 n., 277 ns., 278 ns., 280 
n, 281 ns., 282 n. recommendations 
of the and their character 283-6 
and ns. recommendations did 
not provoke much comment 28(> n. 
on the report of the 
suggestions formulated by the 
Government of India 290, had 
objected to fixed assignments 297, 
the system of occasional grants 
to provinces by the Government 
of India criticised before the 300 
and n., the Government of India 
accepted the recomendations 



406 



INDEX 



of the 301 and n. 304, 312, 
813, 329, 370. 

DEFENCE 109, Government of India 
bad the immediate direction of 
260, Government of India 
retained full control over 
services 320, Indian electorate 
could not be trusted in matters 
of 341. 

DEFICITS a recurring feature 17, 
regular feature of Indian finance 
68, 92., connection of with 
decentralisation 104-5, 110 and 
n, of 1866 and proposals of 
financial decentralisation 115- 
121, Mayo had before him the 
prospect of a huge , its reaction 
on financial reform 125-33, 140. 
DELHI 169. n. 318, removal of the 

capital from Calcutta to 328. 
DEPUTY COLLECTORS 82 n. 
minimum and maximum grades 
fixed for 174. 

DEVOLUTION RULES 351, 352. 

354 ns. 355, functions of the 

provincial Finance departments 

as in the 358 and ns. 359 ns, 361 

& ns., 362 n. 363, n. 364, 366. 

DINSHAW EDULJEE WACHA 239, 

his scheme offinancial 

decentralisation 243-44, 244 n., on 

defects of Minto-Morley reforms 

384. 

DICKENS COLONEL, 67 & n., 87 & 

ns., 88 & n. 89 ns. 110 n., 120 n. 
DISTRICT MAGISTRATE relations 
with superintendent of police 
73, supervision of magistrates 
by 228. 

DIVIDED HEADS, creation of , a 
new feature of financial agreements 
161, some changes in, in 1887 162, 
280, 288, the, still existed 292, 



provided an entry for the control 
of the supreme government 295, 
future corrections in provincial 
budgets would be confined to 
major 299, 805, of revenue and 
the control of the supreme 
government over local 
governments 310-11,312, 
eliminated from the existing 
financial settlements 335, result 
of the abolition of the 859, 

DUFFERIN, LORD 15 n., 167 n. 
193 n, 209 n ., 216, appointed a 
Jail Commission in 1888 226, 
242, 246 n., 247n. 

DOLES, Policy of , f r o m the 
central revenues for specific 
purposes 253, the desire of the 
Government of India to control 
employment of 261, the 
provincial governments had 
opposed the policy of 291, the 
system of and fixed assignments 
not entirely given up 292, some 
relaxation of control in respect of 
293, still a feature of Indian 
administration 296, the 
Government of India consider 
the abolition of as unpracticable 
300, 301, policy of attacked by 
Mr, Gokhale 302-3, have no 
place in a system of federal 
fi n a n c e 804, and the loss of 
financial independence by the 
provinces 310, 811, 371. 

DURAND, Sir Henery M. 94 n., 
96 & n, opposes the scheme of 
financial decentralisation 118. 
prevents its adoption 119, his 
opinion 120-21 & ns. 

DYARCHV 341 n., the system of 
did not meet with general 
approval 344, 



INDEX 



407 



EAST INDIA ASSOCIATION 100 n., Ill 
n,. 112 n., 209 n. 

EDEN, MR. HO n., Committee and 
report, 188 & n. 

EDGERLY, SIR STEYNING 268. 

EDUCATION little interference by 
the Central Government similar 
grant-in-aid rules, 86, 37, more 
latitude allowed to local govern- 
ments 76, department feels the 
controlling band of G. I., 8* and 
n,, 102, to be transfered to local 
governments, 116, 116, 126 n. 
127, 129, no law governing 
182, control of by Government 
of India, 101-8 decentralisation 
in during 1888-1906, 217-221, 
growth of and its effect on 
decentralisation 238, the only 
method for providing money for 
241, 246, 247, educational policy, 
252, grants to local governments 
for 264, the desire to secure 
uniformity led the Government 
of India to regulate details in the 
department of 262, projected 
expenditure on 291, 309, growing 
interested a ess of the people in 
312, educational progress, 813 
and n. } 319 n. convention that 
the Government of India exercise 
minimum control over services 
320, classified as provincial sub- 
ject, 358, completely under the 
control of the local legislature 364. 

EDUCATION COMMISSION of 1882, 
162, the recommendations of the- 
of 1882 were adopted during 
1888-1906, 217, no action taken 
on the suggestions of till 1887, 
218 and n. 253. 

EDUCATION (Elementary or Primary) 
fqnds for to come from local ratei 



161, Curzon finds serious defects 
in 220, grant to local govern- 
ments for 264 n. 

EDUCATION (Higher) the Supreme 
Goverment constrained to restrict 
funds for 217, Curzon ?ds 
serious defects in 220. 

EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE 220, 
221 n. 

EDUCATION, Director General of 
21, 264 n. 

ELGIN, Lord, 78, 79 n., 221, 226 n., 
excise policy, 230, 231n, I ., 247 n. 

ELLIS Sir H. B. 128 n. 

ELLIOT 244 n. 

ELPHINSTON, Lord, 38, 89 ns. 

EMPLOYEE'S WORKMEN ACT 62. 

ENGLAND 68, 69 n., 106, 119, 122, 
123, in opinion in favour of the 
relaxation of the control by the 
Government of India, 138, 178, 
187, 234 n., 239. 

EXCISE under the c o n t r o 1 of 
Provl. Governments, 23, 38. 49, 
receipts to be.transferred to local 
Governments, 127, 128 ns. 394, 
147, transfened to provinces, 
148, control of the Government of 
India over department 171, the 
provincial governments had liberty 
to fix duty within prescribed 
limits, 207, Act of 1881. 216n, 
217, greater interference in the 
administration of 1888 1906, 
causes, 224, Indian Excise Com- 
mittee, 224 n., 226 n. 231 & ns, 
237, 253n, uniformity in adminis- 
tration 230, Inspector General of 
appointed 264 n., R. C. D. recom- 
mended enhancement of powers 
to Local Governments in 286, 
revenue entirely provincialised in 
Bombay, but only three fourths 



INDEX 



in U. P, and C P. 292. 308 n,, 
policy of the Government of India 
crittcised in the Parliament in 
1914, 314. 315. Government of 
India maintained close supervision 
over-320, classified as a provincial 
subject 363. completely under the 
control of the local legislature 354. 
CECUTIVE not responsible to the 
people 122, no possibility of 
subordinating the to legislatures 
209, partial responsibility of the 
to representative bodies 246, 
Curzon suggested the abolition of 
the c o u n c i 1 s of presidency 
governments 266, demand for the 
partial responsibility of the to 
the representatives of the people 
267, power 271, 281, control 
293, the legislative councils under 
Minto-Morley scheme stil adjuncts 
of the 321, 363, the responsi- 
bilty of to legislature not contem- 
plated 323, devolution of powers 
to irresponsible provincial would 
result in the establishment of 
decentralised autocracy 331, under 
the Congress Leauge scheme 336, 
provincial 346. local legislative 
councils were adjuncts of the 
government 363. 

EXECUTIVE SERVICES, Bengal 
government recommended 
provincial isation of 146, 
Government of India made rules 
for increase in the emoluments of 
the subordinate 173. 

:XPENDITURE items of provincial 
10 and n,, Bombay government's 
discretion for on public works 
16 and n., two northern provinces 
in matters relating to m ore 
amenable to control by Central 



Government 16, need of economy 
in p u b 1 i c 17, Governor in 
Council of a presidency could not 
sanction new 22, Government of 
India regulated all 28, tight 
hold on the of subordinate pre- 
sidencies after Mutiny, 29, 30, 34, 
36. 40, every new-before inclusion 
in the budget to be submitted to 
Finance dept. 46, 54, 63,.64, 66, 
increasing 68, 69, 70, 72, 101, 102, 
111, 112 and n., local taxation to 
meet local 113, proposal to 
divide into local and Imperial 
114, local governments to take up 
a portion ol Imperial 115* to 
limit under the control of local 
governments 116, responsibility 
of local on local government 
117, 120, some heads of to be 
removed from the Imperial Budget 
126 and n., respond bility of local 
governments with regard to 
details of to be increased 172, 
128, 130, lump sum fixed for 
expenditure on transferred 
dept. 135, control of local 
governments limited to allotted 
items of 136, 141, reduction 
of 146, 150, no legal separation 
of income and 168, local 
governments suggest a 
permanent division of income and 
240, m i 1 i t a r y of the 
Government of India increasing 
241, people less interested in 
242, excess of should be the 
first charge on provincial 
revenues 243, 268 n. 8 (a), 
decentrilisation of 279, projected 
on education and sanitation 291, 
Government of India would be 
free for closer regulation of 
Imperial 800, Imperial &*< 



IHDIX 



409 



:iPENDITURE (Loctl) 187, 

139-40, 145, entire provincial- 
made over to local Government 
with certain exceptions 148 & n. 
149, 150, retrenchment secured 
in 152, details of separated 
from Imperial accounts 156, 
from provincial revenues 196, 
Government of India could 
c u r t a i 1 198, standard of in a 
province 200, revisions used to 
limit general 201. on Govern- 
ment educational institutions fixed 
219, 238, people more interested 
irt-242, 243,-to be separated from 
general account 246, 247, propor- 
tion of to the total expenditure 
249, assignment made to provincial 
Governments for allocated 260, 
divided heads of revenue and 
288, the Government of India 
fixed the limit of under each 
major head 289, necessary growth 
of 292, 294, 295. 299, 305, local 
governments could not exceed 
the total estimate d 306, 
settlements based on the fixed 
standards of ,d e f e c t of the 
scheme 308-11, local revenues 
could be allotted for specific 
by the local Government 
357, classes of requiring the 
previous sanction of the 
Secretary of State 862-3,371, 

EXPENDITURE (DIVIDED) 150, 243. 

EXPENDITURE COMMISSION 
(INDIAN) W n., 201 n ., 206 n. 
20 n. 207 n. 241, 242, 243 n. 244ns. 

EXPORT DUTIES 32., 160. 

FACTORY ACT of 1888. 170, 179 n>, 
of 1881, 189 n . 

FAMIRE 66, 78, 106, 146, 148, 
relations of supreme Government 



and local Government in rmpct 
of 161 and n. 167, inefficiency of 
admn. in Madras 188, additional 
assignments to provincial 
Gove r n m e n t in case of 201, 
financial strain caused by 207 
revision of codes 231, frequency 
of associated with the land re- 
venue policy of the Government 
232, the charge rebutted by Lord 
Curzon 232, 289, 240, policy 2*2n, 
orders relating to relief pressed 
on Local Government 254, Code 
272, in case of wide-spread the 
Government of India would come- 
to the succour of Local 
Government 292, relief classified 
as a provincial subjeet 353, Local 
Governments made responsible 
for relief 868, 

FAWCETT, PROF. 100, 

FEDERALISM (FEDERATION) 109, 
Col Strechey envi sages the 
establishment of a modifcd form 
of in India 11718, 119. federal 
system of U. S. A. not appliable 
to Indian ftdtnn 121, aim of 
schemes of decentralisation to 
establish a federation of provinci al 
states, their defects analysed 
1225, federation an anamoly 124, 
191. Lord Lytton had no faith 
in 191, the purpose of Wacha't 
scheme of decentralisation 
to establish a in India 244, a 
federation of autonomous 
provincial states has aiwmyi 
appealed to the public 188, 
ramons for the federal ida; 
federated states of India 884, 
India not ripe for a true federal 
system 851, 874, 876, 

F E E * A ?, 



IHBEX 



schemes of 248, constitutions 
274, 802 n, doles have no place 
in a system of 804, 811, 
BIIALE INFANTICIDE Act, 62,58,168. 
BETHAM COMMITTEE 810 n., 811 n., 
INANCE (IMPERIAL) 187, 142, 148, 
department reports forgery of 
the currency notes in Madras and 
Bombay 167 n. 184, revisions of 
settlement, with the provinces 
201, separation of finance 275, 
288, 308 n, 841, 346. 
'INANCE (Local) the position of the 
Government of India visavis local 
government (1884) 9-10, 11, 
analysis of control by Government 
of India over 28-30, control of 
G. G. over local 63, 68 & n., 104 
n., proposals for adjusting central 
and local 110 & n. 112 n.,187, 149, 
expansion of provincial 152, limi- 
tations of provincial authority, 
finance 204-8, restrictions on the 
financial discretion of provinces 
250, factors leading to the limi- 
tation of the financial independ- 
ence of provincil governments 
261,288,285, the Standing Fin- 
ance Committee of local Councils 
288, 296, 296, 299, 807. 810. 
powers of local Governments 307- 
11, 818, 825, 826, 881, 
FINLAY 104 n,, 117 n., 119 n., 126 
n, 884, 127 ns. 128 us, 140 n, 
148 n., 149 n. 161 n, 166 n. 
FORBES, MR 177, 178 n. 268 n. 

. -department 46, Inspector 
$0. conservation of 
-' 90, control of tlfe Government of 
. India over U^df*. 189 n . 262, 
W, R. C. D. recommendations 
285, provincialftatfoD of the 
, 908 n r classified at 



a provincial subject 853, only in 
Bombay and Burma under the 
control of the local legislature 864. 

FORT ST. GEORGE See Madras, 

FORT WILLIAM 1,7. 

FRERE, Sir Bartle. 69 n., 104 n,, 106. 

FULLER, SIR BAMFYLDE, 316, 

FUNCTIONS COMMITTEE 346, 347-50, 
349. 351. 

GAIT, MR 272, 278 ns. 

GANGA PRASAD VARMA 282 n. 

GILES, DR. Director General of 
Education 217 n. 

GLADSTONE 112 n. 

GOKHALE (Gopal Krishma) 
plan of financial decentralisation 
242, on provincial contracts 243 
& n., 281, his scheme of decen- 
tralisation 282 and n., attacked 
doles 802 & n , 303 n., SOS n,, 
336, memorandum on postwar 
reforms 337 & n. 

GOVERNOR GENERAL 109,121 n., 179, 
208, 213, 264, 322. 

GOVERNOR GENERAL IN COUNCIL 
power of control l,2-3&n., 9-4, 
6., 8., 10 & n,, 11, 14, 17, 19, 
occasions for interference by 
in provincial affairs 20-1, control 
over provincial matters 24-36; 
85, 39, 45, 46., 60, 60^ 62. 
68, extent of legislative control 
over provincial governments 64- 
62, 68, 60, financial control over 
provinces 68, 66, 70, 91-2, 93, 
108,106, 107. 108, 118-20, 128, 
181-2 182, 136, 143, 147, control 
over administration 161, 162 n., 
166, 167 & n., control over ser- 
vices 172, 178, 174 n, 176, con- 
trol over legislation 177, 188, 186, 
188, 189, 190, 210, till 1889 the 
sanction of--* equired (or loans tq 



I&DBX 



411 



local bodies 222, 226, admn. 
of jails 227, should not 
remain ignorant of important 
events, 234. the general control of 
continued during 1888-1906, 
237, laid dowd the policy relating 
to various administrative depart- 
ments 261, report on excise 
administration called for from the 
~-3l4, the words with the previous 
sanction of the repealed from 
many enactments 819. the Secretary 
of State exercised his authority 
through the -323, according to 
Lord Hardinge the maintenance 
of British rule in India depends 
on the ultimate supremacy of 
the 328, 329, 349, 351, relation- 
ship between local governments 
and the 362, 363, authorised to 
decide in case of doubt when a 
particular subject is provincial 
364, 367, is still custodian of 
public moneys 369, 361, 863/cases 
in which the previous sanction 
of is required for local 
lagislation, its character 364, 366. 

GOVERNOR AND COUNCIL of Fort 
St. George and Bombay 2, 22, 
43^ 96 ( of Madras asked to 
reconsider their order 166, 349, 
classes of expenditure which 
the could not sanction without 
the sanction of the Secretary of 
State 862-8, acting with his 
Ministers 367. 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 4, 6,, 6, 
nature of its control 9-10, 
12-18, 19., 20, 21., 24-28. 
finances 28-30, political 30-81, 
General administration 31-83, 
public works 83-86, Education 
etc* 36-7, had cpncurrent powers 



of legislation 44., could crutfofee 
local legislation 46, 46, 47, 49, 
61, extent of its control over 
Local Governments 64-62, 59, 
6l, tendency to relax control 
in details 68, 64, rigorous control 
on proposals for increased expen- 
diture 66.67, 68, extent and nature 
of administrative control 69-92, 
proposals on police prgainsation 
71, 72, 74, 7,s, exercised greater 
control in departments affecting 
general structure of adminis- 
tration 76, Whipping Act 77, 79 f 
and the Jails Committee report 80, 
81 & n., on Registration of Assu- 
rances, 82, on H i g h Courts 
83, 34 & n., 85-89 co n t r o 1 
over P, W, D. 90, nature of its 
control analysed 91-2, causes of 
centralization between 1860-97 , 
92-97, causes of the relaxation of 
control 99, 1Q4, 106, opinion with 
regard to control of 106-9, 110 n., 
projects of financial 
decentralisation 113-18, 120-21 
remedies to end friction with 
provincial governments and tbsir 
criticism 122-6, could not agree to 
a permanent partition of revenues 
and expenditure 124, 126, 127, 
131 ns,. 132, 188, & n.. its policy 
after 1870, 134, 136, 186, 
137. 138, 142 & n., 143, 144 n., 
146-7, 149, 160,161 & n., 151, 
extent of its control 168-4, 
financial, 166-9, 160, adn 
161-176(1870-87) "* 
3, local self^ 
jails 164-6JJ 
law and 
settlement 
public 's<| 



I 



rtrotx 



174-176, legislative 176-81 ft ns, 
on direct correspondence 181-87 
k 03., Wke of Argyll's orders 
186-3*, rigidity in control 191, 
195. 196. 197, on contract 198, 199 
ft 200, 20J, 200-201, its athority 
over provincial authority, finance 
204-8, 209, no change in the 
practice of the making of financial 
statements in the local legislative 
councils 210, its interfrence in 
local legislation 211-13, admini- 
trative reform 216, educational 
reform (1888-1906) 217-221, pre- 
scribe general principles 217, 
218-19, reform of educational 
service 220, local self government 
1888-1906-221-24, on jails 226 ft n. ( 
reviewed the jail reports 227, 
close control over the general 
police administration 228, 229 
on excise administration 230, 
temporary settlements of land 
revenue, instructions 232, Jnry 
system 233, news of important 
events 234, 235-6, character of 
its control 236-38, causes 238-40 
military expenditure increasing 
241, 242, rigid financial control 
considered injurious 244, change 
in financial adjustment necessary 
245-6, 248, poster to revise the 
settlements 250, its general policy 
253, Curron's conception of its 
responsibility 257-8, 259, 260, 
means of exercising its control 
2*1, 262, 26, the problem of 1906 
serious 267, 26$. 289, ft ns., and 
the terms of reference of R. C. D. 
270 1 ( evidence of the 271, 272, 
273-4, its proposals and views 
about decentralisation 275, 278, 281, 
$82, 284, and the recommenda- 



tions of R.C. D. 284-6, its proposal 
for discussion of the budget in the 
local councils 287-90, declared 
the settlement .permanent 291, 
favoured provincial taxation 293, 
had primary consideration for its 
own services 295, 296, 298 n. 
299, abolition of 'doles' impracti- 
cable, reasons thereof 30<\ accep- 
ted the recommendations of R. C. 
D. 301, 303 & n, the Financial 
Resolutions of 1912, 1916 and 
1918 304-7, 306, 307. 308 n. t 
results of financial arrangements 
of 1912-16, 308-11, its adminis- 
trative control 812-20. causes 
312. criticism of excise policy, 
314, 315, political disturbances 
316-17. land-revenue policy 
317-18, control over the legislative 
functions of the local governments 
321-24. 323, 329, 336-7, 340, 341, 
Joint Report 343-45, 347, not to 
be deprived of control over pro- 
vincial subjects 348-9, 350, Devo- 
lution Rules and the 351, 353. 
360, its influence over provincial 
legislation 364-66, its control 
over reserved and transferred 
subjects 366-8, 869, 870, 871, 
372, 373, 376, 376. 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT OF 1919 
position under 389, its genesis 
352 and n., 353, 372 and n. 

GREY MR 22 n., 106, 107-8 and n., 

HAINES, GENERAL 184 n, 

HALLIDAY Sir P. 105 and n, 109 n., 

HARDINGE LORD 17, 308 n, the 
Resolution of *s Government 
their nature 313-14, and police 
administration 315 and n, 816, 
817 n, and land-revenue assess- 
ments 318 and n, 322 and n, 



JNfcBX 



41) 



despatch to the Seecetary oi State, 
its importance 328.390, 333, 
CASTINGS, WARREN 1., 
tiGH COURT 48, 61, authority of 
G. I over mainly financial 88, the 
control of judicial organisation left 
to 171, 177, 279, 
IOBART, LORD 182, 
IOME DEPARTMENT 66, examined 
the Bills sent up by the local 
Governments 69 t 70 n. 71 n. 74. n 
76 n, 80 n., 81 n, 82 ns. 84 us., 
86 n., 90 n, 126 n. 129 ns. 161 n., 
162 ns., 168 n., 166 ns., 166 n., 
167 n, calls information in for- 
gery of cuirency notes 167, 218 ns. 
219 ns. f 220 n., 222 n., 226 n., 227 
ns. 236 n , causes of the increase 
of work in the 264 n. 265, 
IOME GOVERNMENT 20, 112, 121 n , 

270. 

IOUSE OF COMMONS 4, 22 n., 
99 ns. Ill n., 119, 139 n. 193 n- 224 
n., 239. 

iousE OF LORDS 286 n- 
HUNTER 126 ns.J26 n., HI n 142 n. 
BBETSON, SIR DENISON 257 n. 
MPERIAL GOVERNMENT 279, 282, 
estimates 288, surplus ravenue 
293. 

MPORT DUTIES 32, 146. 
INCOME TAX 26, its imposition 
resented by the Madras Govern- 
ment 30, for strictly local 
purposes 113, to be assigned to 
provinces 117, 126, 141 n f 145, 
share in assigned to provinces 
366. 

INDIA OFFICE 47, tendency of 
centralisation in 93, c o u n c i 1 
106,361. 

INDIAN CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS 
Report on-309 n., 309, 816, 



326-38.337 n ., 339 n .. 840 n,, 
342 n, 362, 363. 

INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS 193 
and n, its programme 309 and n, 
214 n., 224 n., on Arms- Act 
235 n, effect 'on decentralisation 
239, 240 n, on provincial allot- 
ments 241-2 and ns., 243, 967 n. f 
281 n., 232 n., self-government 
as its goal 327 and ns., 330 n., 
331 ns., 332 n , 383. 334 ns.. the 
League scheme/;! ts analysis 
336-37 ns., 344 n. 

INDIAN REFORMS 100, favoured 
financially autonomous provinces, 
241, 331. 
INDIAN PENAL CODE 33. 66, 

67 n. 

INDIAN STATES 8, 18, 43, 66, 336. 
INDUSTRY uniformity, desirable, 
indigenous industries HI 2, classi- 
fied as a provincial subject 363, 
completely under the control of 
the local legislature 364. 
IRRIGATION, INSPECTOR GENERAL 
OF, appointed in 1870 90, 102, 
264 n., 144, 262 n.,- commission 
263 n, Government of India to 
allocate funds for 262, 817, 
Government of India maintains 
close suprevision over 32U, 
classified as a provincial subject 
3 53, local governments made 
responsible for the capital 
expenditure on 358, 862. 
IYENGAR, A. Rangaawamy 833 n., 

334 n. 

IYENGAR, S. Srinivas 827. 
JACOB, Mr 201 n. 

JAILS, under the control of pro- 
vincial governments 23 & n.. 63 n., 
subject to strict control by the 
central government 76, 79, 



INDEX 



:ommittee report referred to 
local governments SO, district 
31 & n, standard plan for 86 & n>, 
to be transferred to local 
governments 116. 116, 126 n. 127, 
129, 132, Government of India 
anxious to improve the working 
of administration, its control 
(1870-87) 164-66, greater influence 
in the administration of (1888- 
1906) 224-27, appointment of 
commission in 1877 225 and n-, 
another commission in 1888, 
226, scope of the Prisou's Act 
1894 227, 237,manufactures 
274, Government of India 
maintained close supervision over 
321. 367. 
3NSON, MR. 184 n. 
NT REPORT 342, 34H, 346. 
>ICIAL control by provincial Go- 
vernments 23, departments 46, 
control by G. I. 83, 94, Bengal 
Government recommend provin- 
cialisation of 146, control of the 
Government of India over ma- 
chinery 171-2, administration 
(18884906) 233-4. 

RY SYSTEM, its application in pro- 
vinces 238-4, 

STICE, Law and, to be transferred 
to local governments 117, 128 n., 
no meddling by the central 
government in 172, a provincial 
subject 363. 

ISHORI LAL GOSWAMI, Rai 281 n., 
283 n. 

NIGHT R. 112 n. 

AING.MR. SAMUEL 104 n., Ill n., 
scheme of financial decentrali- 
sation 113-16, 113, 114 ft us., 
116, 116 n. 

,AMB, MR. 272.n,, 978 n., 280 & n. 



LAND ACQUISITION ACT 63, 
LAHORE MEDICAL COLLEGE 84 n., 

282 n. 

LAND REVENUE DEPARTMENT 20, 
settlement sanctioned by G. I. 61. 
to be assigned to provinces 117, 
128 n. Bengal Government recom- 
mend provincialisation of 146, 
148 n., 160, settlement policy 
controlled by the Government of 
India (1870-87)1 70-1, N. W.P. Act 
189,232,233, 263 n., 277, R. C. 
D., recommended enhancements 
of powers to local governments in 
286, readjustment of in Burma 
and the Punjab 292, 293, 308 n., 
influence by the Government of 
India in the policy 317-18, 
Hardinge's policy of settlements 
318, classified as a provincial 
subject 353, 367. 

LANSDOWNE, LORD 221, 231 & n., 

232 &n. 

LAW AND JUSTICE 117, 128 n,, 
transferred to provinces 148 & n, 
166, during 1888.1906 224-36, 
229, -during the War 317, Govern- 
ment of India maintained close 
supervision over 321, 367, 

LAW, SIR EDWARD 198 n. 267 n. 
298 and n. 

LAW COMMISSIONERS 33, 46. 

LAWRENCE, SIR JOHN, (LORD) 63 n., 
94 n , 97 n>, 110 n.. opposition to 
schemes of financial decentrali- 
sation 119, 120 n., 121. 

LEGISLATION 4, 26, 26, history 
of between 1833*1860 24-28, 
44, the control by the supreme 
Government did not extend to the 
limits of law 91, 107, 108, local 
and the Act of 1892 208, General 
282, provincial 294, 



IHDBX 



413 



EGISLATIVE 5, 0, 7, 8, Govern- 
ment of India's control in 
matters 24, 26, Presidency 
governments favour return of 
functions 28, 37, 48, 45, Bengal 
gets acouncil in 1862 60, extent 
of control by Government of 
India 54*62, measures brought 
under public scrutiny 103, 138, 
no change in Government of 
India's control over activity of 
Local Governments, analysis of 
control 176-81 ; freedom of the 
provincial councils 245, control 
J93, 295, functions of the Local 
Governments under Minto-Morley 
scheme 32124, decentralisation 
of control 336, independence 
to provinces 342, 352, 

-EGISLATIVE COUNCIL (CENTRAL) 

24-25. powers and functions 
25-28, 46, controls provinces 
54-62, 103; the Resolution of 
1870 133, 197 n., 198 n., 202 n., 
avoided discussion of purely local 
subjects 215 and n., 226 ns., 227 
and n M 235 n., 261 n., 257 n., 
reluctant to confer power on 
Local Governments 265, 269 ns,, 
under Minto-Morley reform 286- 
7, policy of doles attacked 302, 
308 n, 309, 325 n., 328, the 
subordination of the central exe- 
cutive to impossible 329, and 
the Congress League scheme 886- 
7, memorandum of the 19 members 
of the 337, 364, division of 
powers of the provincial andnot 
scientific 365. 

LAGISLATIVE COUNCIL (LOCAL, OR 

PROVINCIAL) 44, 49, 60, 54, 

restrictions on their powers 

. .64-62, establishment ofstep 



towards dencentralisation 104, 
114, financial statement to 
be made 132, 187, for N. W. P. 
13.8, 179, free to legislate 181, 
nature of its constitution as 
demanded by the Indian Nat ion <* 
Congress 193, 208-209, instances 
of interference by the Government 
of India 211-13, effect of discus- 
sions in 214. local governments 
free to regulate their budget 
subject to the control lof 24 1, 

244, legislative freedom of 

245, enlargement ofdemanded 
267, superior control relaxed 
268,279,283, 284, 285, enlarged 
by Minto-Morley reforms 286-90, 
the Standing Finance Committee, 
its functions 288. control of 
the provincial budget by the 
not yet secured 295, and the 
financial freedom of local govern- 
ments 299, 308 n,, 311, functions 
under Minto-Morley scheme 
321-24, 322, Lord Sydenham 
on 325, non-officials dread 
decentralisation without control 
by 331, 332, utility of the 
marred 334, and the Con- 
gress League scheme 335-7, 
their control 337. 340, 346, 349, 
350, attain independence of 
control 352, 353, 354, 857, 358, 
watch-dog of provincial adminis- 
tration 359, 362, under the Act 
of 1919363-8, position till 1919 
362, restrictions on the legislative 
powers of local councils 864. 
the division of powers between 
the provincial and central not 
scientific, its effect 365, a portion 
of provincial government account- 
able to 368, ^provincial eutab- 



16 



Kshsd in 1861 370, 372, 373 n,, 
875, 876. 
IEUTENANT GOVERNORSHIPS 

amenable to control by the 
Central Government 21, 22 and 
n,, proposals to reduce Bombay 
and Madras to 39, 42, their 
powers 49-51, had no direct 
access to the Secretary of State 
50, 61, 79jn,, 81 n., 96, 108, 138, 
175, regard for the susceptibilities 
of 186, 256, 257, 263 n ., 276,277 n t 
ICENCB TAX 117. 

OCAL ADMINISTRATIONS 51, 55,, 
111, 128. 

OCAL COUNCILS 104. 108, 287-90. 

OCAL GOVERNMENTS nature of 
their subordination to the 
Supreme Government 3, 5,6,9, 
lOn. status of the of Agra and 
Bengal 12, 13, 18, 19, powers 
of 21-24, 29, extent of central 
control over, general adminis- 
tration 31-33, public works 33-36, 
education 36. 40 41, 42, 43-44, 
legislation 45, 46, classification 
and powers 48-51 , legal functions 
52-8, checks OD their legislative 
authority 64-62, and financial su- 
premacy of the Government of 
India 63, 64, 65, relations of with 
the central government 67, 68, 
administrative supervision by 
Government of India over 68-92, 
occasions of interfrence 70, 72, 73, 
75, 78, 79. 80, 81 n., free to 
manage services within prescribed 
general limits 83, attention drawn 
to municipal affairs 84 & n,, nature 
of control by G. I. 85-89, 90, 91-2, 
99, causes of conflict between 
and Central Government 100, 
101 &n., fiehi for experimenta- 



tion 108 ,104 & n,, 108, alloca- 
tion of subjects to by Ches-ney 
109 & n,, 110, proposal to free 
from central scrutiny III, 112, 
for throwing parts of burden 
113-20, remedies to end friction 
betweenand Government of 
India, 122-5, 124, 125, 126 & n,, 

127. Mayo's scheme refered to 

128, departments transferred to- 
by the Resolution of 1870, 129-30, 
conditions of transfer 130-82, 
powers extended after 1870 134, 
restrictions on their powers 134-35, 
136, point out defects in the 
scheme of 1870 139-41, report suc- 
cess of the scheme of 1870 142 & 
ns , 143. asked for transfer of more 
departments 144, 145, 146, 147, 
148,150, 151, limitation of their 
powers under provincial finance 
152, 153-4, 155-9, 160, 161, and 
control of educational policy 
162-3 ns,, local self-government 
163-4, jails 164-66, police 166-8, 
168-70, ns., land revenue, excise, 
judiciary 170-72, public services 
172-4, general 174-6, legislative 
176-81 & ns., right of Correspon- 
dence with the Secretary of State 
184, -and thesupreme government 
(1870-87) 188-94, (1886-1996) 195, 
19C, 198, 200, protest against 
quinquennial settlements 201, and 
the power of the Central Govern- 
ment to interfere with their 
authority 202-3, in finance 204-8, 
their legislative freedom after the 
Act of 1892 208-16, Curaon -and 

216, educational reforms and 

217, 218-219, 221, 222, 22ft, 224, 
225, question of prison reforms 
926, 227, and police 229, 



INDBX 



417 



forbidden to make elaborate 
classifications of soil for asses- 
ment 282, a n d administrative 
control by the Supreme Govern- 
ment 1888-1906 234-6, character 
of central control over 286-8, 
causes which retarded further 
progress of decentralisation in 
relation to 288-40, suggest 
permanent division of revenues 
and expenditure 240, Indian 
politicians favour financially 
autonomous 241, fi n a n c i a 1 
administration of provinces to be 
left to 242, 244, 248, 249. 251, 
Curzon pressed his measures of 
reform of 252, 254, & n., 
reminded of their position 257, 
Curzon 's conception of their 
position 257-8, 261, 262, and 
Inspectors-General 263, 265, 266, 
conditions for the devolution of 
authority to the 268, 269, 272, 
criticised the institution of 
Imperial Officers 273, 276, 
evidence of 276-80, Burma 276- 
77, Madras 277-8, Bengal 278, 
Bombay 278-80, and control 
281, 282. R. C. D. suggested 
increase of financial powers to 
285, 288, also Government of 
India and Secretary of State 290, 
291, 298. new changes affecting 
the 24-7, freed from detailed 
scrutiny, 299, hope held out to , 
{or a share in surplus 800, 302, 
303. the Resolutions of 1912, 1916, 
and 1918 and 304-7, enhanced 
powers of 806-6, restriction on 
the authority of 806-7, effect of 
financial arrangements on their 
powers 80711, administrative 
control of the Government of 



India on 312-20, the Resolutions 
of Lord Hardinge and 314, the 
Government of India constraind to 
control the in, police and excise 
administration, reason thereof 315, 
316, and interference in ther 
land revenue policy 317-18, 
steady enhancement of the 
authority of the instances quoted 
319-20, legislative functions of 
the and control by Government 
of India under Minto Morley 
checks 321-24, Lord Sydenham 
advocates the removal of all 
checks 325, relations between 
the and the central Government 
according to the Congress-League 
scheme 336-7, 338, 340, 345, 
346, 348, 351, relationship 
between the and the Governor 
General in Council 352, subjects 
assigned to 863-4, 354, financial 
powers of the under the Act of 
1919 355-63, provincial contribu- 
tions 356, the borrowing powers 
of the 357, have a free hand in 
the expenditure of their funds 
359, can sanction expenditure 
on transferred subjects subjec t to 
vote of Local Council 361. the 
Secretary of State delegated his 
powers in transferred subjects to 
the 362-8. chances of friction 
between the central Government 
and the not eliminated 866, 
three-fold division of the functions 
866-8. 370, 872, 873 n., 874. 

LTTTON, Lord 182 n., 183 and n, 
184 n., 191, 192 and n., 194 n., 266. 

MACDONELL, Sir Anthony 216 n., 
226 n, 237 and ns v 

MADAM MOHAN MALVIYA, PAKDIT 
282 n., 908 n, 



418 



INDEX 



MADFAS, Fort St. George (Presi- 
dency) 1, 2-3, 7 and n., 9, 16 and 
n., 21, n., 25 and n., 26 ns., 27 and 
n , Government of India interfered 
to fix the salt dify in 28, had 
a free hand in lacd revenue 29, 
protests against the imposition 
of income-tax 80 and n., had a 
separate army 31 , 32 and ns., 34, 
36, chafes under restrictions 
37-38 and ns., 39, 41, 42, legisla- 
tive powers restored to 44, 
armies of excluded from the 
control of G. I. 47, claims of 
differential treatment of 5 n., 64, 
68 ns, Bills vetoed, GO, 01 n., 62 
ns., 66 n., favour? the recruitment 
of police from the army 74, 76 n, 
81, 82, 84 n. , control in P. W. D. 
most galling to 85, government 
free to sanction works costing 
2 lacs 86, 87, causes . f inter- 
ference analysed 88-9, 90 and n., 
had ample discretion 91, 92, 
development of political life at 
99, 110, government regards 
decentralisation proposals as 
partial and inconclusive 118-19, 
government on Mayo's scheme 
128, 129 n., 139 n., 140 n , 144 and 
n., famine in 148, declines to 
enter into financial arrangements 
149, government objects to 
control by Government of India 
in education, 162 and ns. 163 n., 
165 & n., forgery of currency 
notes discovered in 167, Rampa 
rising in 169 & n., 170 n., 171 n. t 
172, n., 174 & n , 177 n., seat the 
Bills direct to the Secretary of 
State 178, Local Board Act of 
180 and n,, city Municipalities 
Act, privilege of direct corres- 



pondence 181 & ns., 182n.,188,185, 
186,-Mahajan Sabha 193, 209 n., 
government ofasks permission 
to discuss budget in January, 
refused 210 & ns. not permitted 
to amend the Act XX of 1863, 211 
& ns., 212 ns., 214 & ns., 215 n., 
222 n., 223, & ns., 228 n., 229 n., 
asked to improve its law regu- 
lating the relations of landlord 
and tenant 232, 233 & n. 235 ns., 
236 n, protest on provincial con- 
tracts 247, settlement with in 
1904-6 250 n., Governor of 
ignored the Central Government 
254, Governor of-f ailed to commu- 
nicate with the Viceroy 265, 262, 
263 n., 277 & ns., 293, 818, 820, 
325 & n., 326 & n., 327 n., 
advocated a far reaching measure 
of decentralisation 844 & *ns-, 
resents the system of provincial 
contributions 366, 366 n. 
MAINE, Sir HENRY 79 n, 101 n., 

102 n., 106, 118&n,121n. f 
MANSFIELD, SIR WILLIAM 106, 

109, 110 n. ( 118 & n . 
MASSEY, MR, 111 n., his proposal re- 
lating to financial decentralisation 
115, modifies his original scheme 
116 &ns., 139 n. 

MAYO, LORD 68 n,, 101 n., financial 
reforms of 125-133, 125 & ns., 
127 & n ., 136, 137 ns., 139 n.[ 
141 & n., 142 & n., 146, 154. 
167, 176, the right of direct 
correspondence 184, 191, 196, 
370, 876, 

MAZAHRUL HAQUE 334. 
MEANS OF COMMUNICATION 103, 
facilities in the effect on 
decentralisation 238-9. 
MEDICAL transferred to local govern* 



INDEX 



419 



meats 116, 128 n, 129, 247, grants 
to local governments for arrange- 
ments 254, Government of India 
regulate details of department 
262, R. C. D. suggests limitation 
of control by Government of India 
in dept. of the provinces 285, 
administration classified as a 
provincial subject 353, completely 
under the control of local legisla- 
ture 364 , 
ME3TON, Sir James 274 n,,276 n, 

302 n, defends the system of doles 

303 and n, 306 n, the committee 
fixed the provincial contribu- 
tions 356. 

MILITARY (Department) under the 
direct control of G- I. 47, 66, 
147, matters relating to military 
affairs to be submitted by local 
governments to the Secretary of 
State through the Government of 
India 187, charges growing and 
their effect 196, officers 222, 
police 277. 

MILITARY GOVERNMENT Presidency 
matters controlled by G. G. 2, 
vested in G. G. 4, 6, rules for 
establishments 20. depart- 
ments under Presidency Govern- 
ments 23, expenditure of the 
Government of India increasing 
341, forces 864. 

MINISTERS, responsibility of, to the 
representative assembly 
327 n. 

MINTO, LORD 264 n, 265, 2t 7 ns., 
269 D| 270 us,, 286 and n, 289 ns. 
290ns., 316 and ns, 817, 818 n. 

MINTO-MORLEY Reform? , the effect 
of, on decentralisation 286-90, 
local legislatures under 321-24, 
introduced no fundamental change 



in the constitution 823, 826, 
334, 375. 

MISCELLANEOUS revenue and 
expenditure transferred to local 
Governments 117, 128 n. 148 n. 

MONTAGUE, E. S., Cambridge 
Speech 331 & n.,~ came to 
India 340, 

MORLEY, LORD 267 n. 270 n ., 287 
n., aiGns. 

MOTI LAL GHOSH 281 n, 283 n, 

MUDHOLKER, K. N. 281 n, 331 n, 

MUIR, SIR W. DO & n ., 97, demands 
a Legislative Council for 
N. W. i'. 138. 

MUIR, MR 29 n , 49 ns., 61 & ns. 
110 n., 120 n, 

MUNICIPALITIES (MUNICIPAL) 23 
and n. 37, 84 and n., 85 n., laws 
107, may have a voice in the 
appropriations 113, Resolution of 
1870 and institution 132, institu- 
tions 139, funds 153.n., 163 n., 164 
and 180 n., 181 n ., 213, Govern- 
ment of India occasionally direct 
the activities of and local boards 
222-23, full authority bestowed 
on provinces in respect of adm. 
237, 247, 875. 

MUNICIPALITIES ACT 63, 84, 
MUTINY influences the process of 
centralisation 18, 80. 41, 46 70 
83, 91, 94, 96 which was not with- 
out defects 100, 102, 124, 216, 869 
NAGPUR 22, 86 n. 

NAPIER, LORD 119, 140 n., 186 & Q 
NAVAL FORCES 55, 364, 
NORTHBROOK, LORD 146. 

NORTHCOTE, SIR STAFFORD 106 

andn,, 111 n., 119 n . 
NORTH WEST (UNITED) PROVINCES 
19, 50, 73 n , addressed on the 
subject of disturbances in Muttra 



420 



INDEX 



and of a trial at Benares 76 & ns,, 
asked about the use of bail-chain 
77 & n., correspondence between 
and Government of India on a 
certain change in Jail admn, 81 ft 
n., 82, 86 n , 108, opines on Massey 
proposals 115 n., Legislative Coun- 
cil demanded for 188 & n., 189 n,, 
welcomes the system of 1870 
140 n., Lt. Governor of desires 
the transfer of forests and irriga- 
tion 144 &n., financial arrange- 
ments with the government of-for 
two years 148 & n., 168 n., not 
permitted to appoint a European 
Head Master in Benares 178, 
175 n., Rent Act 189 n., 208 n., 
gets a Legislative Council in 1887 
211 n., 222 n., 228 n., 225 n., 
solitary confinement with reduced 
diet 226 n., 228 n. f excise reforms 
pressed on 281, land revenue to 
rise automatically in 282, 238, 
235 n., settlement with in 1904-5 
260 n., 268 n., 272 n., three fourths 
of excise provincialised in 292, 
818, 819, resents the system of 
provincial contributions 856. 
861 n,, 867 n. 
NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 

257, 

OCTROI DUTY 168, 221. 222 n., 
OPIUM DEPARTMENT 144 n, fall in 
revenue 291, 886. 

ORDINANCES could be issued by the 
supreme council 44. 

ORISSA famtnine 78 ft n., 105, Bihar 
and- a separate province 829, 

OUDH Chief Commissionership of, 
directly under G. 1. 47, 51. 54 n,, 
86 n., 128 n., 186 n., financial 
arrangements made withj {he 



government of in 1877 148, 168 
n,,175n, 

PARLIAMENT 3, 8, 27, 42, 62, 92, 
96, 100 n., 121 n ., 122, 128, 148, 
188, 258, 260, 276, 286. 298, 808 
n. 814, 815, 821, 828, 887, 841, 
842, 848, 846, 848, 850. 860, 
867, 

PENTLAND, LORD 844, 
PLAGUE 207, 240, policy 262 n. 
POLICE, DEPARTMENT 20, 28 n,, 28, 
32. 46, 68, 64, commission, 65, 
reorganisation of 70-75, Act cf 
1861 73, 74, subject to strict 
control by the C. Government 76, 
102. to be transferred to Local 
Governments 115, 116, 117, 126 
n.. 127, 129, 182, controlled by 
Government of India (1870-87) 
166-8 and ns., 175 n., during 1888- 
1906 legislation, 212-13, 217, 
administartion 224, 228, 287, 252 
n., 254n., R. C. D. on 285, 312, 
adm, continued to .be carefully 
supervised by the Supreme 
Government in 1918 815, 817, 
321, classified as a provincial 
subject 853, 867, 
POLICE, INSPECTOR GENERAL, OF 

71-72, 73, 90. 

POLICE COMMISSION 65, appointed 

by Government of India 70, its 

report 7l ft n , of 1902 225 n, 

253 n., 254 n. 

POONA, SARVJANIK SABHA 192 n, f 

193 n,, 209 n. 

POST OFFICE 40, directly adminis- 
tered by G, I. 47, and telegraph 
departments 55, the immediate 
direction of 260, 282, Govern- 
ment O f India retained full 
control over and telegraphs 820 t 
886. 



INDEX 



421 



PRESIDENCY GOVERNMETS position 
before the Regulating Act 1, in 
1784 2, Act of 1833 4-10, 8, 21. 
powers of 23-24, 28, nature of 
their distinction from other 
provinces 88, their powers 48-49, 
60,52.01,89, and Imperial 
Officers 90-1, 92, 98, Bright 
for autonomous presidencies 99, 
causes of conflict between the 
Central Gavernment and 100 & n. 
105,106, 109, 110, projects 
to reduce conflicts 118-120, 121, 
Government of India complaints 
of their conduct 181-4, power of 
direct correspondence 184-87, 
182, 184-6, &n, ( 185-6, 187 and n, 
position summarised 187-88, 192, 
210 n. 265, Curzon desires their 
being placed on the footing of 
ctbtr major provinces 266, 869. 
PRESS HI, 214, its effect on decen- 
tralisation 238, on R, C. D, report 
286 n, Laws 31C. 

PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY 124, 184, 
169. 192, Indian politicians favour 
financially autonomous provinces 
241, no explicit mention, but a 
hazy vision of 245, Lord Curzon's 
reforms laid foundations of a 
steadily developing financial 
261, 283, factors leading to 297, 
303, 308 n., the immediate 
objective of Indian opinion 330, 
832, political literature after 1911 
full of references to 383, in 
the Congress-League scheme 
886-7, general demand for 340, 
34f, 866, and the Act of 1919 
868, 876. 

PROVINCIAL (CONTRACTS) settlements 
in full force (1888-1906J 196, 197, 
198, the revision of determind 



by the prior claims of supreme 
government 199, reasons for not 
m a k i n g permanent 201-202, 
207, the defects of periodical 
revision of 241, 242, Gokhale 
points out their defects 243, the 
protection of local & /ernments 
by means of undesirable 946, 
246, the supreme government 
notices three defects in quin- 
quennial revision of 249, 266, 
the basis of 294, rigid enforce- 
ment of doctrine of contractual 
responsibility 298, exclusion of 
the possibility of the revision 
of 299. 

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS not 
deprived of their power of direct 
correspondence 6, 14, 118, origin 
of -the proposal for leaving greater 
responsibility to the in adrnn. and 
financial matters 119, jealousy of 
controlling authority of G. I. 122, 
aim of the schemes of decentralisa- 
tion to establish a federation of, 
defects analysed 122-60, 128, 126, 
expenditure proposed to be trans- 
ferred to 126 & n. the Resolu- 
tion of 1870 and the 132, 184,136. 
138, 147, 161. and the extent of 
their financial powers 164-69, 191, 
after 1887 the constantly remin- 
ded of their subordinate position 
196, and their expenditure 196, 
and the necessity of periodical 
revision of settlements 201-2, 
merely agents of Central Govern- 
ment, 202-3, limitations of-finance 
204-8, had wide powers of reap* 
propriation within budget esti- 
mates 206-7, empowered to grant 
loans 207, 245, 230, character 
of central control ov^r 286-8, 



422 



INDEX 



causes" which retarded the progress 
of decentralisation in relation to 
288-40, 242, 244, 246, 249, set- 
tlements withbetween 1904 and 
1907, assignment made to 250, 
Curzon, and control over 256, 
258, 259, 260, factors leading 
to the limitation of financial in- 
dependence of 261, and Inspec- 
tors-General 263, Secretary of 
State deprecated interference with 
the initiation and responsibility 
of 265, Minto admitted that 
refernces from inconsistent with 
the wide powers exercised by 
them 26*5, 268, and terms of refe- 
rence of R. C. D. 270-71, evi- 
dence of 270, 273, not sovereign 
states 274, Government of India 
agreeable to enhance the powers 
of 2 7 5, suggestions of 276-81, 
Burma 276-77, Madras 277-78, 
Bengal 268, Bombay 
878, 279, 280, 281, 282. 283, 
Commission recommended that 
should be subject in all respects 
to the general control of the 
Government of India 284, 285, 
and Minto-Morley Reforms 286-90 
and their financial independ- 
ence 890, opposed the policy of 
doles 291, 292, effect of the 
changes of 1912 on 294, 295, 
direction of progress till 1912,296, 
298, 'doles' restricted the liberty 
of 801, no powers 1 to create 
appointments and revise establish- 
ments 306, effect of 1912 financial 
arrangements on the financial 
powers of 307-11, 313, 820, ad- 
ministrative control of the Govern- 
ment of India over 312-20, 824- 
26, the satisfaction of the "Indian 



demand could be provided for in 
the provincial sphere 829, ulti- 
mately the may be free to 
manage provincial affairs 830, 
mere financial decentralis a t i o n 
would not free the 331, the 
could nJt be liberated from 
superior control in the absence 
of its 'responsibility to an 
electorate 832, and the Congress 
League scheme 835-7, 388,840, 
Joint Report on 342, 342-45, 346, 
247, 348, the Devolution Rules 
defined relation between the and 
the Government of India 351, 
and the Government of India 
Act of 1919,852, 352, the and 
their financial powers under the 
Act of 1919, 355-63, reasons why 
the Government of India must 
interfere with the 867, freed to 
a large extent 368, 869, 370, 871 
872, 874, 876. 

PROVINCIAL SERVICES, created by 
the Resolution of 1870 130, extent 
of interference by the G. G. in 
Council 131, Local Government 
could not increase total charges 
on 135, plan of assignment of 
139 n, 141, 142 n, 236 n, Local 
Government competent to frame 
rules for the recruitment 
of , nnd could make certain 
appointments to the reserved 
posts from the cadre of the 819, 
PROVINCIAL SUBJECTS 109 proposal 
to make Education, Police, Jails, 
and P. W. D. 115, the more 
advanced of the Local Govern- 
ments favoured a complete 
separation of revenue resources 
and a definite demarcation of 
326, division of from central 



INDEX 



423 



subjects 347,848,849, 850, 861, 
852, list of 353, the list of the 
not so rigid 354, 855, 364, 

PUBLIC DEBT OF INDIA, laws 
relating to could not be passed 
by provincial legislatures 
55, 364, 

PUBLIC SERVICE 32, 82, control of 
the Government of India over 
172-4, 236, 273. 

PUBLIC SERVICES COMMISSION 178 n. 
of 1887 220 & n, report of 230, 
the adoption of the recommenda- 
tions of the-by provinces carefully 
watched by the government of 
India 236, 319 n . 

PUBLIC WORKS, control by the 
Court of Directors and the 
Bombay Government 14-16, G. I. 
asserts its control on 97, greatest 
vigilance on department 33-36, 
appointment of higher offices of 
department made by G. I. 47, 
Superintending Engineer appointed 
by G. I. 49, 61 and n. waste in 
especially in Bombay 67, 68 n., 
control in most galling to local 
governments 86 and ns., code of 
regulations 87 and n, 88 and n., 
causes of reference to the supreme 
government analysed 88-9, 90 n., 
110, to be transferred to local 
governments 115, 117, 128 n., 
productive 149, productive as 
controlled by the Central Govern- 
ment 164 and n, 160 ns,^-Loan 
Act 164 n, Department Code 
191, grants to local governments 
for 264 n, and the responsibility 
of the Government of India 262, 
Department Code 272, 277, 
R. C. D. recommended some 
enhancement of powers of local 



governments in 290, 293, expen- 
diture 305, Government of India 
to exercise minimum control over 
local 320, classified as a provin- 
cial subject 353, completely under 
the local legislature 354. 

PUBLIC WORKS ACCOUNTS, Inspector 
general of, 90. 

PUNJAB 19, 22, 81. 50, greater 
interference from G. G. in inter- 
nal ad r?i). 60, government and 
expenditure on police 65, #0 n, 
executive control of G. I. over 
the Chief Court of 83, 84 n, 86 n, 
government objects to fixed 
assignments 140 n, 145 and a, 
163 n, 165, 168 n, 170 n, 172 n, 
Lt. Governor of drew attention 
to unnecessary correspondence, 
175 and ns, gets a Legislative 
Council 211 n . 221 n, 225 n. 
definite excise reforms pressed 
in 231, principles of assessment 
for prescribed 232, riot at 
Rohtak in the 235 n, settlement 
with in 1905-6, 250 n, separation 
of the N. W. F. P. from the 
2*>7, readjustments of land- 
revenue in the 202, the govern- 
ment required to follow the 
orders of the Government of India 
about the assessment of Delhi 
District 318. 

RAILWAYS 109, policy 252 n, strike 
of signallers on 'the G. I. P. 
255, Government of India had the 
immediate direction of 260, 282, 
Government of India retained 
full control over 320, 336. 

RANADE, JUSTICE 138 n, 163n, 169n. 

REGISTRATION (DEPARTMENT) 87, 
46, 81, 82. to be transferred to 
local governments 116, 129, 182 f 



424 



INDEX 



classified as a provincial subject 
354, completely under the control 
of the local legislature 854, fee 
857 n., 

RELATIONS, between the supreme and 
the subordinate governments, the 
scheme of 1870 148, effect of 
Minto-Morley reforms on the 
287-90, the changes of 1912 did not 
affect the basis of the 294-7, 804, 
the position in 1918 as regards the 
financial 31 1 , and the Congress 
League scheme 886-7, 840, the 
Devolution Rules defined the 
851, the separation of resources 
altered the character of 360, 
history of the is one of gradual 
escape from a position of complete 
subordination to limited indepen- 
dence 369. 

RESERVED SUBJECTS 346, 348, con- 
trol of the Government of India 
over subjects 349, 351, 853, the 
Secretary of State delegated his 
powers to local governments in the 
862, 363, 865, 866, 368. 

RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT, no 
scope for its development without 
decentralisation 282, Minto- 
Morley reforms and 287, pro- 
gressive realisation of in India, 
(declaration of Aug. 20, 1917) 
839, experiment in possible in 
provinces 341, as recommended 
in the Joint Report 342, Indian 
extremist opinion demanded full 
in the provinces at once 344, 
the restriction of the control of 
the Government of India over 
transferred subjects led to in 
rome spheres of administration 
350, 852, 875, 876. 

REVENUES 8, control of* vested in G. 



G. in council 4, settlements con- 
trolled by Presidency and provin- 
cial governments 23, of British 
India formed one purse 29-80, 32, 
645, regulated disbursement of - 
46, in Bengal 47, 68, deptt. of 
local governments subject to ri- 
gorous control by the central 
government 75, 91, 111, 112, & n., 
proposals to divide into local and 
Imperial 114, to be raised by 
local taxation 115, heads of 
proposed to be transferred to local 
governments 117, 119, Govern- 
ment of India could not agree to 
any permanent partition of 124, 
125, 188, assignment of Imperial 
for provincial expenditure and its 
effects 139-40 Mayo's government 
in favour of raising 141, Imperial 
144, 145, 146, decentralisation 
extend to selected items of 147, 

148, division of 150, local govern- 
ments suggest a permanent division 
of 240, separation of 346, no 
statutory division of 855. 

REVENUE (DIVIDED) 150, 
REVENUE (IMPERIAL) 145, 147, 148, 

149, 150, 200, 202, Department of 
281 n., separation of from 
provincial 241, policy of doles 
from 253, 262, 293, 294, 800, the 
control by the Secretary of State 
over 361, 871, 

REVENUE (LOCAL) 149, 160, provin- 
cial 156, 196, 197, 198,201, 205, n. 
240, 241, 243, 246, 247, 249, 
254, 279, Gokhale's scheme of the 
con t r i b u t i o n s from to the 
Imperial Government 282, 288. 
the Government of India reviewed 
the estimates of 289 .fixed assign- 
ments and expansion of 292, 



not considered to be (he legal 
possession of provincial govern- 
ments 294, 295, assignment of 
shares of growing 298, 305, 
borrowing on the guarantee of 
the of additional taxation 306, 

308, share of growing could not 
be realised in the first few years 

309, 811, private bills affecting 
to be submitted to the Secretary 
of State 321, the more advanced of 
the Local Governments favoured 
a complete separation of sources 
926, 355, contribution to the 
Government of India became the 
first charge on 356, local could 
be allotted for specific expenditure 
by the Local Government in 
concurrence with the legislature 
367, 368, 

RIPON, LorD 151 n, his reforms in 
local self-government 164 and n, 
171 n. 174 n, 179 n, 180, 191, 
332, 376, 

SALT DOTY under the control of 
provincial government 23, 
uniformity impossible 28, 126, 
Department 144, 160, Inspector 
General of Salt appointed 
254, D, 836, 

SANDHURST, LORD 255, 

SANITATION 76, 80, 85, Sanitary 
Commissioner appointed in 1870 
90, expenditure on 137, 211 n, 
emphasis on uniformity insanitary 
legislation (1888-1906) 212, 213, 
222, the main topic of review 
by the Government of India ?2S 
ns, the only method for pro- 
viding money for 241, 2iC, 
appointment of Sanitary Com- 
missioners 254, projected expendi- 
ture on 291 , 909, growing 



interest of the people in 312, 
sanitary administration 313 a, 
local governments authorised to 
select their sanitary commis* 
s i o n e r s 319 f Government of 
India to exercise minimun control 
over 320, classified as a provin- 
cial subject 353 public health 
and completely und^r the cont- 
rol of the local legislature 354, 

SAPRU, SIR TEJ BAHADUR 364 and 
n, 365 n, 367 n, 372 n. 

SAYANI, HON. R. M. 197 n, 202 n, 
244 n, 

SCHOOLS 102, 161, 163 n, 317. 

SCHOOLS (EUROPEAN) policy of 
grant m aid to regula'sdby the 
Government of India 161, 

SECRETARY OP STATE, 26 & n % 
27 & n., HO n., on education 86, 
42, control over the Government 
of India 45, 47, Lt. governors and 
50. 55 and n., 56 and ns,, 57 and 
n., 58 ns., 59 and ns.,- and 
Government oi Bombay 68 & &., 
69, 73n., notes differences in the 
system of the Registration 
of Assurances 81, 82 ns., lays 
down main lines of educational 
policy 84, disallows the appoint- 
ment of Inspector General of 
Police 90, 92, 93, his desire for 
uniformity 94, 99, 103 n, 1C6, 
109, welcomes financial decentrali- 
sation 119, lack of firmness in 
120, 123, 130, 132, approves the 
principles underlying the Resolu- 
tion of 1870 133 & n, 146, 151 n ., 
157, 158, 183. 166 & n, 170 D ., 
173 & n., 176 & D.. control 
over legislative activity in 
India 177-99 & ns., the problem 
of direct correspondence 



416 



INDEX 



181-7, 187-88 &ns, disposed to 
rigorous economy and its effect 
196 & n., control over provincial 
finance 202-3, 296 n., 20* n., 209, 
218, despatch of forwarding the 
statute of 1892, 2H & n., 224, n., 
280 n., 232 n., memorials on jury 
system 238 & as., 234 & n., consi- 
ders a change in financial adjust- 
ment necessary 245 & n., 247, 248, 
& ns., discusses with Cnrzon the 
quasi-permanent settlement 249, 
264 n., 265 & n., Curzon's despatch 
toon presidency governments 
256 & ns., 258, 259, asked to 
sanction additional staff in the 
Home Department 264, depre- 
cated interference with the initia- 
tive and responsibility of local 
governments 265 & n., 266 n,, 
appointed the first commission of 
inquiry on decentralisation 268, 
269 & n , 270 ns. f statement in Dec. 
1908, about constitutional reforms 
271. 279, responsibility of the 
Government of India to the 
284, 286 &n., accepts the scheme 
for the discussion of budget in 
local councils 287.90, desired to 
enhance the discretion of local 
governments 290,291, 296, 812, 
calls for report on excise adminis- 
tration 314 & n., 316, 821, ruled 
that the local governments must 
uphold the decision of the 
Government of India 822. 
all governments in India account- 
able to the* under Minto-Morley 
scheme 828, 825, the deptach of 
Hardinge and its importance 
328-830,887 .announcement on Aug. 
20, 1917 889, came to India 840 
andn, and the problems before 



him 841, the and the joint report 
842, 348, 344, 845, 861, 858, 867, 
368, the delegated largely his 
financial powers of control 860, 
the and the revenue of India 
861, delegated his powers in 
reserved subjects to local govern- 
ments 862, 868, 867, statutory 
powers of the 871-4 and ns. 
SELF-GOVERNMENT (Local) 127, 
187, 189, development of con- 
nected with provincial finance 
169, administrative control of 
the Government of India on 
168-64, relaxation of control most 
marked in 190-1, 192, legislation 
on in the provinces closely 
watched 213, 217. during 1888- 
1906 221-24, the policy of Telex- 
ing control continued 221, cases 
when the Government of India 
interfered 222, the only method 
for providing money for 241,268, 
813 n, convention growing up 
that the Government of India 
should exercise minimum control 
on 820-332, declared a provin- 
cial subject 353, completely under 
the control of local legislature 354, 
SETTLEMENT, the Government of 
India reserved the power to reivse 
the 260, Curzon believed that 
the new constituted the most im- 
portant Istep in decentralisation 
251, 847, inception of 277, perma- 
nent- 29 2, 394, 298. 299, 802, 
804, 807 Q , 808-9, 310. enhance- 
ment of revenue at the time of 
resettlement, principle of long 
term reaffirmed 318, divided 
heads eliminated from the existing 
financial 166, Baring's qninquen* 
nial 370. 



INDEX 

SOWTHBOROUGH COMMITTEE 353. 

SRI RAM BAHADUR, Hon. Rai 197 n. 

802 n, 244 n. 275 n. 282 n. 
STAMPS, 145, 147, 148, 207, 867, 
STORE AND STATIONERY classified 
as a provincial subject 853, com- 
pletely under the control of the 
local legislature 854, restrictions 
with regard to expenditure on 
861. 

STRACHEY, 22, 67, 101, note, on 
financial decentralisation 116-18. 
STRACHEY, SIR JOHN. 106, 127 & n. 
^136 n. 136, I37n, 141 n. 143 n, 
*146, & n. 147, 153 n. 164. 
SUPREME COUNCIL 22 n. 25, 45, 60, 
98, 103, 107, 215 n. V i c e r o y's 
Council,H28, 131. 

SUPREME GOVERNMENT (See 
Government of India and Central 
Government) 2-8, 5, 8., 11 and n, 
extent of its financial authority 
12-18, 17, 21, 25, 26, 27. 2l\ 
measure of control over general 
admn. in the provinces 31-83, n, 
35, dominated by Bengal 37, 88, 
its functions 40, 41, 42, its 
position in 1860 48, 47, 48, 50, 
61,62, 63, 57, 68 n. on power 
of veto 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 67, 69, 
71.72, 78, 75, 78, 77, 78, 
79, 82, 88 and n, 88, 89 91, 94, 
causes of centralisation bet* 
ween 1860 and 70, 93-97, 100, 101, 
reluctant to increase taxation 102, 
104,110, 112. 120, 180, 181 ns, 
the Resolution of 1870 and 132, 
186, 142 n, 148, 147, 148. 151, 
162, extent of its control on 
Local Governments 163 and n, 
156, 162-8 n, 166, 167 a, 168, 
170, 111, 1*4 n, 176, 177, 179, 
188, 184, 187, and Local Govern- 



427 

oients 1870-87, 188-94 198, 199, 
200, 201, 207, 208, *10, 
interference in local legislation, 
211-13, 213, restricts funds for 
education 217, 219, 221, 
references toon local -elf 
Government affairs after 1889 222 
226, on Prisons Act 226, 227, on 
police 228, licensing of liquor 
shops 230, 281, the jury system 
238-4, a, law and order 286, 
causes which brought into play 
the exercise of control by- 237, 
238-40, suggestion of a perma- 
nent division of revenues and 
expenditure between theand 
subordinate governments 240, 242, 
243, 244, a scheme of the revision 
of provincial contracts 247-8, 249, 
control under Curzon 262, 264, 
266, 257, 260. 261, 262. 274, 276, 
283, some liberation of provincial 
governments from the control 
of- in the matter of budget 292, 
the divided heads' provided an 
entry for the control of the 
295, general principles of admn* 
determined by the 296, in the 
case of surplus the would desire 
to give a share to Local Govern- 
ments 300, 803 and n, real control 
by the 310, 812, the recognise 
the uniformity of principle 
essential in excise admn 814. police 
admn. continued to be carefully 
supervised by the 316, the 
prescribed the policy about 
political disturbances 316, 817,826, 
establishment of self-governing 
provincial administrations pointed 
to the transference of power 
from the to the people 880, 
divestment of the control of 



4BS 



would result in the establishment 
of decentralised autocracy 831, 
and provincial Governments 
according to the Congress League 
scheme 886-7, 888, 347. 875. 
Sf DEMHAM, Lord 824, 324 and n. 
TAXATION 18, 26, 61 , all controlled 
by G. I., exemptions allowed to 
provincial 'governments 28, 84, 
104 n, power of local 111, 112, 
118, revenue to be raised by local 
-115, 122. 125, 126, 128, 185, 
Government ol India retains 
control over local 186, 188, local 
taxes 141, 146, 151 n, 275. 

TAXATION (Imperial) 147, Govern- 
ment of India had the immediate 
direction of general 260, 282. 

TAXATION (local) 145, the spending 
authority had no responsibility 
for 201, 246, 247, 285, the 
Government of India favoured 
298, 305, 806. 840, powers of 
local governments and legislatures 
with regard tounder the Act of 
1919 856-7. 

TAYLOR MR. 106, 110, n. 

TELEGRAPH 47, 260. 

TEMPLE, Sir Richard, Lt. Governor 
of .Bengal 78, 126, explains the 
scope of the Resolution of 1870 
186 & n. 139 n., 183 n. 

TAANSFERRED DEPARTMENTS lump 
sum fixed for expenditure on 
185, local governments ask for 
transfer of more departments 144, 

TRANSFERRED SUBJECTS 846, 348, 
360, 851, the interference of the 



Secretary of State and the C G, 
in Council in the administration 
of the 858, -as assigned to pro- 
vincial legislatures 354, restric- 
tions with regard to expenditure 
on 861. 363, 366, 866, 867, 368, 
372 & n ., 373 n. 

TRAVELYAN, Sir Charles 25, 30, his 
proposals regarding relations 
between the local & central 
governments 39-40, & n. 46 n. 
68 ns. 79 n , 96 n., 100 n.. 108 n,, 
110 n., Ill, 112, 138 n., 139 n ., 
objects to the rigidity of assign- 
ments 140, 141 n, 

UNIVERSITIES COMMISSION 217 n. 
220, 253 n., University Bill 257 n. 

VETERINARY, Inspector General of, 
department, the post abolished 
320, civil department classified 
as a provincial subject 
358, 34. 

WAR, relations of Supreme Govern- 
ment with local governments in 
respect of 151 & n., 157, 292,317. 
the educated classes cherished 
hopes of a better system at 
the end of 385. G ok h a 1 e' s 
memorandum suggesting post 
reforms 337. 

WATERFIELD Sir H. 197 n., 201 n., 
206 n., 207 n. 

WILSON, MR, Sir G. F. 30, 64, 111, 
113, 299. 

WINGFIELD, Sir Charles 136 and n, 
136 n., 188 n., 139 n. 

WOOD, Sir Charles 22 n., 56 103., 

YOUNG, Sir Mackworth 257.